My Learning Philosophy
To Do Is To Learn
I believe that you have to experience something to really learn; think about when you were a kid and you were told: “don't touch the stove, it's hot.” You never truly believe them until you touch the stove and experience the pain for yourself, I know because I was the one touching the stove.
Learning is a very active thing, you're making connections, reflecting on personal experience, and talking to people about it. You work to connect the newly acquired knowledge to prior knowledge so that it has context and meaning to you.
Myself as a Learner
I like to learn about things relevant to myself and applicable in my life. I learn best when I’m actively engaged in real-life applications. I don't learn very well in lecture-only atmospheres, my mind tends to drift if my hands are not engaged, therefore I learn best by doing. I also need to have a passion for the topic in order to motivate myself to continue learning about it. I have a passion for innovative instructional practices, thus I am continuing my journey in the Digital Learning and Leading program through Lamar University.
Teaching vs Learning
I have heard that teaching is done to you, while learning is what you do and this rings true to me. Like the hot stove example, your parents “teach” you that it’s hot but you don’t fully learn that it’s hot or what hot means until after you’re crying with ice on your finger.
School is meant to be a place of learning, a rich environment of engagement and experiences yet high stakes testing seems to have turned it into a place of teaching. I see teachers worrying about teaching the students how to pass the test instead of facilitators guiding students on how to pass life.
A Learning Philosophy vs A Teaching Philosophy
In a perfect world, there would be no difference between a learning philosophy and a teaching philosophy. I believe They should be the same. A teaching philosophy covers how you deliver the material while a learning philosophy covers how you engage and interact with the material. Teaching is covering the material while learning is diving into the material making connections and revelations.
My Learning Philosophy
I have three core beliefs that make up my learning philosophy:
Anyone can learn anything with proper support.
You don't have to know everything, just know where to look or whom to ask.
Real life experiences are key to learning.
It turns out that I am a mixture of Constructivism, Social Constructivism, and Connectivism.
- Anyone can learn anything with proper support
Vygotsky developed the Zone of Proximal Development that emphasizes there is a point at which students cannot complete tasks without help. This area outside the student's knowledge is where scaffolding, intersubjectivity, and guided participation occurs. All of these features include social interactions between a master and learner. This tenet falls mostly under Social Constructivism.
- You don't have to know everything, just know where to look or whom to ask
Siemens supports this belief with Connectivism, that "know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed)" (2005). He emphasizes the importance of being connected to information outside of one's knowledge. It's more important to be able to find information than to internally know information due to the rapid changes in information, especially in the technology field.
- Real life experiences are key to learning
Dewey and his Constructivism supports my belief that knowledge is gained through personal experiences. He was the original disruptive innovator of his time saying that learners should have real-life experiences in which they could construct their knowledge. He rejected the belief that learning is passive and is instead a dynamic experience that changes depending on the stimuli ("Education Theory/Constructivism and Social Constructivism", n.d.).
My Learning Philosophy and Technology Integration
My innovation plan has shifted slightly from microcredentials to delivering professional development in a blended learning environment due to my learning philosophy. By incorporating a blended learning environment I will create a social collective where educators are able to collaborate and construct technology integration into their subjects while building a network of educators to communicate with when they need ideas or assistance.
I changed my plan because I feel that microcredentials are more of a behaviorist theory using a badge as the carrot for participation. Teachers have so much on their plates that they are less likely to participate for the sake of earning a badge as opposed to participating for the sake of innovating their classroom environment. This blended learning of technology integration will also help me to model for my educators the expectations I have for them.
I identify with Harapnuik (2015) as a facilitator of learning instead of being a teacher. I want to enrich the lives of others, not teach them. Besides, haven't you hear the saying "I'm going to teach him a lesson" in reference to someone getting ready to inflict harm on another person? Like a physician, educators should incorporate the saying "do no harm".
Education theory/constructivism and social constructivism. Retrieved from http://www.ucdoer.ie/index.php?title=Education_Theory/Constructivism_and_Social_Constructivism
Harapnuik, D. (2015). Learning philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=95
Venosdale, K. (2012). What does learning look like?. [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/venosdale/7991822713
Venosdale, K. (2013). Innovation zone. [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/venosdale/8985396241
Venosdale, K. (2013). Passion. [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/venosdale/8409444485
Bates, T. (2014). Learning theories and online learning | Tony Bates. Retrieved from https://www.tonybates.ca/2014/07/29/learning-theories-and-online-learning/
Bates provides a wealth of knowledge for learning theories involving digital learning. Bates explains the different theories and how they are applicable to the digital learning world.
L, D. (2018). Summaries of learning theories and models. Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/
David provides most every learning theory to date on his site and has resources describing each one.
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved from http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm
Siemens uses this site to explain connectivism and how it is applicable to the digital age. He expounds on behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism being developed prior to the digital age, therefore, less relevant than connectivism when it comes to digital learning.
Social constructivism. Retrieved from http://www.ucdoer.ie/index.php?title=Education_Theory/Constructivism_and_Social_Constructivism
The University College of Dublin explains social constructivism and the theorist associated with them.
Social constructivism - Constructivism - Learning theories. Retrieved from http://kb.edu.hku.hk/theory_social_constructivism.html
The University of Hong Kong has myriad pages covering most all learning theories and examples of what they look like in the classroom. They even provide an overview of some strategies and instructional approaches.
Weimer, M. (2014). What’s your learning philosophy?. Retrieved from https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/whats-learning-philosophy/
Weimer made me rethink how I will have my learners incorporate their learning philosophy into their ePortfolios. There are some deeply thought-provoking questions for self-reflection of why we learn what we learn.