My Reflection of How I Learn – My Learning Philosophy

After pondering how to describe my learning philosophy, I realized an integral part of me being a student has been to never tell myself that I cannot learn anything.  Reflecting on my journey to empower myself with knowledge, I realized that as an active learner, the first thing I do before doing anything is to choose to be ready for any challenges that may come. I then approach the content by analyzing what are the fundamental concepts that should be considered. This helps me to organize the material because I learn better when the information is organized and has a clear direction. When understanding the information, I found that I am able to experience knowledge with an understanding and can build upon it later. Looking at the knowledge pyramid I found that this represents the way I approach learning.

dikw-pyramid

Rowley, J.(2006). Journal of Information Science 33(2), PG. 162

Learning for me occurs in three different ways: indirectly, directly, and experiential. Indirectly because observation is a good teacher. Learning to pay attention to the results of something that does not involve you can be a great source of knowledge. Directly occurs when I take something that is new to me, and separate it into pieces to better comprehend it. This helps me understand at a greater depth. Learning new information as well as being actively engaged, can become over whelming if you are not able to understand basic elements that are fundamental. Experiential occurs due to me learning from success and failure. (Dweck,2006).  This helps me to reflect upon an experience and generate memorable lessons that are embedded in my knowledge base. I remember failing a computer science class, and my first response was to cry. After crying I decided to speak to my adviser and ask how that would  affected my academic standing. She explained that I was allowed 1 class that I could retake and would not be penalized academically as long as I passed the retake. This was great news for me and from that experience I reflected on things that contributed to my poor performance and planned the retake without too many other classes with it and I passed it with an “A”.  I understand now that failures are opportunities for learning and can be a catalyst for success.

I believe that I should experience the learning process before I can teach others as a part of my preparation. Majority of the time, my presentation relates to my struggles in the learning process. With preparation comes the ability to communicate information that will promote critical thinking skills and motivate students to learn in an active state and not passively.  If students are engaged in the curriculum, they will have a desire to be ready to learn.  Another characteristic is by understanding things in parts. When I learn the fundamental principles and build upon them, I retained what I learned. I was able to interrelate things to achieve an answer to “why” things are like they are. Regularly, before I learn something new, I will look at background information of the source of knowledge that I am about to comprehend. I believe this is due to me being a rationalist. I prefer to validate my use and pursuit of learning through personal investigation

My learning philosophy is a reflection of how I acquire knowledge and relate it to what I have learned. In contrast, my teaching philosophy is how I communicate the knowledge I have.  When teaching the presentation of the content within the learning environment, should motivate students to actively participate within the process of learning. Students should be engaged and an should actively participate in the process of learning.  One of my goals for myself is to give students the opportunity to experience the acquisition of knowledge independently, after receiving basic principles within the learning environment (Biesta, 2015). I found the following video to be helpful in capturing my goals.

I generally adhere to the constructivist learning theory which has three principles: (a) Instruction must be concerned with the experiences and contexts that make the student willing and able to learn (readiness). (b) Instruction must be structured so that it can be easily grasped by the student (spiral organization). (c) Instruction should be designed to facilitate extrapolation and or fill in the gaps (going beyond the information given)  (Ghazi, 2016). There are still times when I can exemplify characteristics of the behaviorist theory (Learning Theory, 2016).  For example, children acting out with disruptive behavior in a learning environment should  have consequences for certain types of behavior to discourage it. Teaching rules to young children is what maintains an orderly environment to have structure that is productive for them to learn.

Since becoming a distance learner, becoming fluent in the use of technology was necessary to help me achieve a greater depth of understanding in the content i studied. I frequently use  ICT’s as a resource in learning because it gives me current information and keeps me aware of resources that are available. Social media keeps me aware of current events within education.  I use social media as a educational tool to keep me aware of resourceful information that helps me personally and professionally.  When not in the normal setting of a classroom, learning content in various forms has help me in becoming an independent learner (Dold,2016). My experience as a digital learner has transitioned from me just learning content that is presented for test purposes to learning to understand how what is taught can be applicable in my career as an educator. I  have become a lifelong learner and hope to motivate others to do the same equipping themselves with knowledge.

References

Biesta, G. (2015). Freeing teaching from learning: opening up existential possibilities in educational relationships. Studies In Philosophy & Education34(3), 229-243. doi:10.1007/s11217-014-9454-z.

The author shows an example of how the separation of learning from teaching can promote students to become independent learners. 

Dold, C. J. (2016). Rethinking mobile learning in light of current theories and studies. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(6), 679-686. doi: 10.1016/j.acalib.2016.08.004.

The author examines some of the new opportunities mobile devices within the learning environment and how assessments are made to measure success.

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

This book discusses how to turn failures into successes. Explains how a fixed mindset can hinder us from reaching our potential and a growth mindset will turn failures in to success.

Ghazi, S. R., & Ullah, K. (2016). Concrete operational stage of Piaget’s cognitive development theory: an implication in learning mathematics. Gomal University Journal Of Research, 32(1), 9-20.

Even though this article has to do with learning math, principals that are part of the constructivist theory of Piaget that says that humans learn from constructing one logical structure after another.     

Rowley, J. (2007). The wisdom hierarchy: representations of the DIKW hierarchy. Journal of Information Science33(2), 163-180. doi:10.1177/0165551506070706.

This article is a presentation of how data and information is used to establish knowledge which is a component of learning. 

Weimer, M. (2014, March 26) What’s your learning philosophy. Retrieved on November 27, 2016 from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/whats-learning-philosophy.

Read this blog and thought it was helpful giving some good questions to answer when formulating a learning philosophy.

Learning Theory Fundamentals. (n.d.). Retrieved on November 30, 2016, from http://www.theoryfundamentals.com/skinner.htm.

 This sites explains the learning theory of behaviorism that B. F. Skinner developed.

 

 

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