Learning Environment, Design and Purpose


We always talk about the reasons why our students are not performing to the state’s standards.  Why they are not challenging themselves? Why do they just give up without trying?  There are so many other questions we always have about them, but we never stop to think about the real reasons.  We need to start to think more about the student than the grade or percentage on a test.  In order for our students to be successful we need to make sure that they are going into a learning environment where they are free to explore without any judgement.  They need to go into an environment where they are aware of the purpose of their learning.  


In my graduate course on creating significant learning environments, I had to think about what type of learning environment I wanted my students to have.  I need to create a significant learning environment that promotes a growth mindset.  In creating a significant learning environment, I talked about the different challenges I will encounter and how I will handle them.  It is important  for my students to feel comfortable in the classroom and  to be able to come in the classroom with the freedom to ask questions without feeling like they are not smart because they need to ask for help.  I want them to be able to leave the classroom with a feeling of wanting to  go online to learn more.


In the process of figuring out  what I need to do in order to create a significant learning environment, I had to think about my own learning philosophy. Figuring out what my learning philosophy was, will allow me to better help my students.  Learning about all the different learning theories will help me figure out how to help my students learn about their learning.  Once my students and I figure out the way they learn, we will work together as a team and be able to change their mindset from fixed to growth.


In the process of creating a significant learning environment and promoting a growth mindset, I still have to design how I want to implement my innovation plan.  In my graduate course I was introduced to a new taxonomy, Fink’s 3 column table and re-introduced to UbD Design, backwards design. I understand both of these as forms as lesson plans.  The Fink’s 3 column table was the hardest plan I have encountered.  It is setup to have the ‘endgame’ in mind.  What I want my students to have learned at the end of the year.  This will help me be able to really create activities that will truly help my students learn.  The UbD design is geared more for the of the weekly lesson plan.  It is more detailed and more student centered.  Both lesson plans will help me organize my innovation plan so I can share them with my administrators and fellow colleagues.   Having these lesson plans will make sure that I am providing my students the best learning environment for growth.


Finishing this graduate course on learning environment opened my eyes and made me realize that there is still so much more work to be done.  Figuring out what my learning philosophy will help me be a better teacher to my students.  I will be able to relate to those students who learn the same way I do and help them begin to think about learning a new way.  To think that learning is an ongoing process and that there is not one way of learning, there are multiple ways.  Learning about the different learning theories so I can help my students be better learners.  Creating a significant learning environment and promoting a growth mindset will be an ongoing process.  With a growth mindset, every obstacle, every setback is a learning opportunity that we need to embrace.  Our learning is neverending.



Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.

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