Trying to figure out what my leaning philosophy is has been real hard for me. As educators we are never really asked how we learn. We are always asked about our teaching philosophy. What can we do to help others learn? We are asked to take ourselves out of the equation and just teach. Teach to students who already come in with many different facets. In order for us to be a great teacher we need to know ourselves in our learning and teaching. The way we learn reflects on our teaching. Most teachers, including myself, refer back to the ways we learn to teach. We, as teachers, base our teaching philosophies on our learning so they are both very similar.
Learning can mean a lot of different things to people. When people think of learning they think of being in a classroom where an instructor is teaching, but that is not where it all learning takes place. I am a firm believer that learning starts at home and that everywhere we go we are learning. We learn from our parents first and from our surroundings. We learn everyday and most of the time we do not realize it. Even after we already learn something, we continue to look at it in different ways and learn something new. For example, when I am in a new situation I like to ask a lot of questions. When my first-born was diagnosed with having PJRT (Persistent Junctional Reciprocating Tachycardia) and she was in the NICU, the doctors would make their rounds visiting each patient. At the end of their shifts, they would come around with the new nurses and doctors and go over the day. I would listen and ask questions even when I already heard them and got the same answers. But each time I would get some new information, may it be that the first time around I missed it or because it was actually new. Every time I was learning. Another example is when people are driving. We learn when is a good/bad times to drive somewhere, learn shortcuts, etc. We are always learning and there is always something new to learn.
With this reflection it seems that I am supposed to fall into one type of learning philosophy, but as I am reflecting I cannot fall into just one learning philosophy. Here are some of the learning philosophies I feel I fall under:
I think back to when I was younger in elementary school. I would come home with my report to give to my father. He would look at it and discuss each class and grade. When I received an ‘A’ I would be rewarded, if I received a ‘B’ we would talk about how that was okay, but I could do better. If my grades were lower, my father would say that I would lose out on something I valued if it did not improve. That is the whole basis of behaviorism. So I would listen to my teachers, study when the need was called for, and asked for help when I needed. I was a young child, so of course I did not want to lose any privileges. I did what I was told to do and made ‘A’s.’
My parents always put a lot of emphasis on my education. To them, as well for myself, education is key to having a better life. My parents did not have the luxury of going to school because they needed to support their families, so they had to make the hard decision of getting out of school to work. So as I grew up I wanted to make my parents proud. Having my parents become proud of me was a reward on it’s own. It wasn’t just for them; I too wanted to be proud of myself and worked hard. So I would learn and get good grades for myself and that in itself became my reward. Some might say that this is not a ‘good’ learning philosophy, but for me, it works. I now learn for myself, to make myself proud. To know that when my children grow up they have a good role model. For them to know that learning is an essential part of life.
I also learn to understand what is going around me. For example, when I have a doctor’s appointment and they have to run a test, I ask what every test is about, what they are looking for, what could be some outcomes. I have to know what is going on. I also refer back to my prior knowledge to understanding what is going to happen. I need to have my own experience to learn. Without experiences you just have information, not knowledge.
Both of these theories are going to impact my innovation plan. My students are still in the age where behaviorism still applies because of their parents. Parents are still rewarding students for getting good grades and giving out consequences for bad grades. My students will also need have experience in order for them learn. They will be putting their knowledge into creating projects and into gathering more information on what they are learning. My students will also have me as a facilitator for their online learning. They will be watching videos that I will create and then have projects that they will work collaboratively on with their peers. So for them, their learning philosophies will be behaviorism, constructivism, and online collaborative learning.
Bates, T. (2014, July 29). Learning theories and online learning. Retrieved November 29, 2016, from http://www.tonybates.ca/2014/07/29/learning-theories-and-online-learning/
-An overview on different learning theories
Jensen, R. (2014). Behaviorism. Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health,
-An overview on behaviorism and how it got created.
Vijaya Kumari, S. N. (2014). Constructivist Approach to Teacher Education: An Integrative Model for Reflective Teaching. Journal On Educational Psychology, 7(4), 31-40.
-This article talks about how constructivism can be an effective for teacher learning.