Where does knowledge come from and how do people know? This is like which comes first, the chicken or the egg?
Which “ism” am I?
What a thought provoking (and maybe a bit confusing) thing to think of. What fits my own teaching philosophy or classroom practice? Which “ism” am I? Behaviourism… Constructivism… Cognitivism… or Connectivism? My mind was feeling a little like the map of learning theories…
I think there is so many ways I cross over within these theories of learning but in reading the map and diving more deeply into it. I feel I most connected to Experiental Education, as I feel building a direct relationship or connection with the student is the most meaningful learning tool and whatever I am going to teach them or how I am going to teach them will all fall into place after the fact. Relationship, content, and experience are key. Another learning theory would be Constructionism as I feel students work best when they can collaborate in a meaningful way, build on new knowledge and so it learning is more student driven so the kids have ownership in their learning. I also resonate with Meanginful Learning as this type of learning is applicable and they are able to transfer it in real life situations.
As a teacher and a life long learner, my most meaningful learning experiences are when I get to network and learn from other like minded individuals in PD opportunities or Communities of Practice. When you are passionate about what you are learning and it is easy to integrate right away into your practice, it is extremely beneficial.
I enjoyed this week’s readings and am very glad I wasn’t around to experience Skinner’s teaching machine. One article that really resonated with me was Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age . In it, Siemens explains that we need to add an alternative theory, connectivism to the other theories as the others were established before the use of technology. Knowledge is changing and becoming obsolete at a much more alarming rate than ever before. He states some signigicant learning trends such as the variety of fields most learners will encounter over their lifetime, the importance of informal learning with things such as PD opportunities and Communities of Practice. He recognizes that we are all life-long learners , that there needs to be more of a connection between the organization and the learner as they are both “learning organisms” and “technology is altering(rewiring) our brains” (p.2). With this ever changing world, students need to know where and how to find knowledge.
I feel more than ever that kids are different learners than they were when I was young, and this is due to technology. This is why more than ever, we need to ensure that technology is fluid in our classroom. It is not an add on. It is, as Dean would say “invisible”in our classrooms to prepare them for the future in a world that is changing so rapidly. As well, more than ever, we are going to have to ensure that Digital Citizenship is infused into our learning environments as well?
When I sat and reflected on the question, how has my teaching shifted from the start of my career to now I have to say that I let the students drive much more of their learning than ever I ever did at the start of my career. I am much more comfortable in giving up that control. I teach the content from the curriculum, but now for the most part let students have input in their own learning. They always blow me away at what they can produce. As well, I let them learn more from each other than ever before. They are great collaborators and learn so many more skills from eachother than just what they are learning in content.
In closing, I am very grateful to be in a class like this to increase my own knowledge as it makes me a little anxious to know that I have so much to prepare my students for.