Learning should be a life-long endeavor, whether formally or informally. Each of us should possess the desire to seek out all there is to know in this ever-changing world of vast knowledge. From the moment we are born we begin to learn life’s lessons then we continue our education in school with the ultimate goal of graduation and a college degree. That was my goal anyway. At that time, to me, learning was about lectures, taking notes, memorizing for a test and hoping you made a good grade. My definition of teaching and learning was simple: Teachers transfer their knowledge to the student and the student learns, or acquires, the knowledge given by the teacher. However, that simple statement just doesn’t seem to fit anymore in today’s realm of education. For me, learning has come to mean so much more.
“Education is the kindling of a flame,
not the filling of a vessel.” – Socrates
“flame” by Dawn Huczek is licensed under CC BY 2.0
My learning philosophy shares my beliefs about learning and the learning theories that shape them. My learning philosophy differs from my Learning Manifesto in that it focuses more on my beliefs about how we learn rather than my “teaching philosophy” or my reflection on being a digital leader. Although they differ, one does influence the other. My beliefs about learning influence my leadership and teaching.
Learning can take place in a variety of ways and in a variety of environments. Many factors come together to shape the learning environment and there are many theories about which work best. My learning philosophy has slowly evolved over the last few years and I feel it’s best represented by a combination of connectivism, constructivist and humanistic orientations.
The Humanistic orientation to learning is described as a very personal, self-initiated type of learning. The learner works toward self-actualization within the hierarchy of motivation. The learning is pervasive and changes the behavior, attitude and personality of the learner.
The Constructivist orientation to learning is described as discovery learning or learning by doing. Learning is an active process of constructing rather than acquiring knowledge. They build their own knowledge by actively participating in the learning process instead of being a passive recipient of the knowledge itself. Learners participate in new experiences and make adjustments to their knowledge and ideas based on the outcomes of these new experiences.
The Connectivism learning theory is described as learning by forming connections and that those connections that enable us to learn are more important than our current state of knowing. Nurturing and maintaining connections are needed to facilitate continual learning. Accurate, up-to-date knowledge, or “currency” is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
I am a motivated learner, constantly seeking out new things to learn. There is just so much out there to know and learn! For me, learning is fulfilling and builds my confidence and pride. I learn better by doing and am constantly reforming my current knowledge based on new information. Its important to me to curate resources in order to have access to the most current, new information. I think connections and relationships are valuable, especially knowing where to find the information you need.
I will never know everything there is to know but that won’t keep me from trying!
“Never Ending Dillon Road” by Randy Heinitz is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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