My Learning Philosophy

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 My Learning Philosophy

What is Learning?
As a past Educator, I have spent several years teaching, learning and educating our youth. I consider it my job to stay current where I can analyze trends and synthesize knowledge in useful ways.  Today 21st Century Learning is focused on both teaching and learning. I would like to share my perspective on learning, learning theories and identifying my personal learning philosophy. A learning philosophy is something that reflects what a learner has discovered and come to believe about learning Weimer, M. (2016). There are many different theories about the process of learning and some are relevant to my personal beliefs and others not so relevant. So what is the concept of learning? Driscoll (2005) defines learning as occurring when learners are able to perform actions they could not perform before the learning occurred. Learning is the result of experiences and interactions with the world and consequently there is a change in performance or potential.

What is the Relationship Between Teacher and Learning?
Have you ever considered the relationship between teaching and learning? Does it is exist? Yes, actually the more we know and understand about learning, the more we have a coherent theory of learning, and the easier it is to make good decisions about how to teach. Weimer, M. (2016). As educators, we can observe how our students are processing information. We can then decide on techniques based on how and why they promote learning. This is a method of building education from the bottom up. First, we examine the learning process and then we can focus on instruction to make a connection.

How do I learn?
My journey to learn will continue to development in my lifetime. A reflection on my personal learning philosophy is important for building a better understanding of what it means to learn and know. Learning is very complex. There are learning styles and there are learning theories. There are several learning styles, but I will narrow it down to three:

Vision

  1. Listening learners
  2. Seeing learners
  3. Touch/Experience learners 

Most people combine the styles of learning. I fall into the category of “seeing learners” and “touch/experience learners”.  I believe my truly effective learning process begins with exploration and believing in my potential to accomplish the goals I set. I am passionate about and believe in exploring concepts that are intriguing and challenging. I learn online through community connections and have real world experiences by traveling. I develop an understanding of others points of views and potentially learn more effective strategies for solving problems. Once I have new knowledge, I can process as an individual or team then I can link new information and experiences to my prior knowledge and construct a meaningful understanding.  I can also engage in the learning process by experimenting with new knowledge. Finally, I will be able to utilize my skills for possible innovations. As I have mentioned the phases of learning, include exploring and experimenting with knowledge.  Setting goals or self-directed learning is another technique I believe in, where I can challenge myself to stay current with knowledge in my areas of interest. 

What are the differences between a teaching and learning philosophy? A teaching philosophy is a self-reflective statement of your beliefs about teaching and learning. It demonstrates how an instructor plans to lead the classroom and put their beliefs into practice, concrete examples of plans to manage instruction in the classroom. Whereas, a philosophy of learning is an instructor’s teaching style directly related to their philosophy of what it means to know and learn. When educators reflect on what they believe about teaching and learning, the rationale for making appropriate teaching choices becomes more apparent  Approach, B. S. (2007).

How People Learn is viewed as the basis for a conversation among researchers and practitioners about the kinds of knowledge, tools, and resources that would promote student learning and achievement Brandford, J., Brown, A., & Cocking, R. (2000).

  1. Learners engage in the learning process through interactions with the content, other learners and the educator.
  2. Previous experiences are viewed as major learning resources and the learner has enough prior knowledge to be successful in the learning tasks.
  3. Learners are encouraged to become increasingly self-directed and assume responsibility for their own learning.

Each of these principles reflects not only the concepts inherent in my personal Philosophy of Learning but are also the concepts identified in the theories listed below.

connections

Constructivism 
The Constructivist Theory assumes that knowledge is constructed by learners as they attempt to make sense of their experiences, and views learners as active participants in the learning process. The Constructivist approach enhances the principle of interaction amongst learners as critical to learning from Situated Cognition, which states that “higher mental processes in humans develop through social interactions.” (Driscoll, p. 396)  Collaboration is viewed in the Constructivist approach as an essential feature of the learning environment as it “allows insights and solutions to develop synergistically that would not otherwise come about” and only through members working together will they have the necessary knowledge to solve certain problems(Brown et al., 1989 as quoted in Driscoll, p. 396)

Learning is viewed as increasing participation in communities of practice, and through these interactions learners and communities are transformed in a reciprocal process; as learners change, they in turn influence and change their communities of practice. This theory contends that learner interactions lead to transformation of all parties and of one’s culture, the true application of knowledge. 

cognitivismlogo

Cognitivism
The rules, principles or relationships in processing new information, and the search for meaning and consistency in reconciling new information with previous knowledge, are key concepts in cognitive psychology.

Interactional Theories of Cognitive Development suggest prior learning is critical in creating “a well prepared mind”. Through discovery learning, the “well prepared mind” is necessary in order to be successful in solving any problem, and the ability to solve problems requires enough prior knowledge to be successful in the task. (Anderchek, P. (2005, December 12).

Today I am still in the field of education as a Programmer and Analyst. Reflecting on my Learning Philosophy will have a positive influence on innovation plan. The concepts and the principles of learning  will be coordinated at all levels within my school district. It is important to understand the value behind learning theories. I  plan to share the entire process involved by focusing on each theory for what it illuminates about learning and for how it can guide the development of effective instruction.   

References
Approach, B. S. (2007). Philosophy of teaching and learning. Retrieved from http://teachingcommons.cdl.edu/cdip/facultyteaching/Philosophyofteachingandlearning.html
There exist many different theories about the process of teaching and learning; some are particularly relevant to my personal philosophy, others less so. The purpose of this paper is to describe my personal theory of practice incorporating the salient points of the various learning theories, and then demonstrate the application of my personal theory in relation to a specific course design.

Anderchek, P. (2005, December 12). Personal Theory of Learning and Application to Practice [PDF]. 
http://spin.mohawkc.on.ca/pa/portfolio/documents/athabasca/FoundationsID/Patanderchek3final.pdf
The purpose of this paper is to describe my personal theory of practice incorporating the salient points of the various learning theories, and then demonstrate the application of my personal theory in relation to a specific course design.

Bates, T. (n.d.). Learning theories and online learning. Retrieved from
http://www.tonybates.ca/2014/07/29/learning-theories-and-online-learning/
Dr. Bates discusses theory and practice for the digital age.

Brandford, J., Brown, A., & Cocking, R. (2000). How People Learn, Brain Mind Experience and School Retrieved from
http://www.colorado.edu/MCDB/LearningBiology/readings/How-people-learn.pdf
This expanded edition of How People Learn is the result of the work of two committees of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Research Council (NRC). The original volume, published in April 1999, was the product of a 2-year study conducted by the Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning.

Bruner, J. (n.d.). Constructivist Theory (Jerome Bruner). Retrieved  from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/constructivist.html
A major theme in the theoretical framework of Bruner is that learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge.

Yoram Harpaz (n.d.)Teaching and Learning: Analysis of the Relationships. Retrieved from
http://yoramharpaz.com/pubs/en_learning/teaching-and-learning-analysis.pdf 

http://socialconstructionism.pbworks.com/f/connections.png

Staff, T. T. (2013). A Visual Primer On Learning Theory. Retrieved from
http://www.teachthought.com/uncategorized/a-visual-primer-o-learning-theory/
A Visual Primer on Learning

TheoryWeimer, M. (2016). What’s Your Learning Philosophy? Retrieved from 
http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/whats-learning-philosophy/
Neil Haave, who teaches on the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta, submitted an article on learning philosophies. (You can find the article in the April issue of The Teaching Professor newsletter) His thinking about learning philosophies was stimulated by his experience evaluating e-portfolios, which were being piloted on his campus, and by a couple of posts on this blog (November 13, 2013 and January 22, 2014). He was struck by how few insights the seniors preparing these portfolios had about themselves as learners and came to the conclusion that they should start writing about how they learn long before the end of their academic careers.

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