My Philosophy of Learning
The Science of Our Brain
The brain does not work and function at the same rate in each individual (Semrud-Clikeman 2010). The brain houses billions of neurons and these neurons contain and store every thought, memory, and experience. This means that every person’s brain is unique and has a distinct way of how information is organized and kept. When you think about the word “dog” what do you usually visualize? You may recall a picture of a regular dog, your dog, or a dog of a certain breed. Either way, you will visualize some form of abstraction of what you consider a dog is based on your experience. These schemas are what normally form when you recall a concept depending on a variety of memories or experiences. Usually, they are formed early-childhood and can greatly influence how new information is encoded, retained, and later retrieved (Gilboa & Marlatte 2017).
How Learning Takes Place
I believe that learning takes place at different times throughout a person’s life. During my time as an educator, I was able to teach people of all ages, ranging from children to adults. I have noticed that their willingness to learn depends on the learning environment and what currently motivates them. Children tend to learn better when there is an application of learning while adults are flexible in terms of how they learn. Deci and Ryan (2000) states that “From birth onward, humans, in their healthiest states, are active, inquisitive, curious, and playful creatures, displaying a ubiquitous readiness to learn and explore, and they do not require extraneous incentives to do so” (p. 56). As we grow older, we learn what internal or external factors drive us to do better; these factors can either be personal, fear, or pleasure. Depending on how useful or how often we come across information, learners must embrace the struggles, mistakes, and failures that will ultimately be the key to how knowledge will be stored in our brains.
Effective Teaching Methods
The best way to teach is to create pleasurable experiences that caters to all learning styles (auditory, visual or kinesthetic); not all learners are able to grasp information by reading from a book. Introducing new information can open multiple entry points that can be triggered by interests, prior knowledge or past experiences. As educators, we must create multiple solution paths so that learners can create relatable learning experiences. When information seems more relevant or relatable, it tends to stay longer in their long-term memory. Knowledge is both intuitive and unconstructed, but it can be developed through collaboration, repetition and perseverance; hence, the importance of learning and adjusting to new learning strategies.
Cognitive constructivism would be the theory that is closely related to my examples. This theory suggests that humans must build their own knowledge based on their experiences. Jean Piaget’s cognitive theory states that “humans cannot be given information, which they immediately understand and use; instead, humans must construct their own knowledge” (Piaget, 1953). Knowledge can be formed by individuals who take their own initiatives and adapt oneself in the environment. Educators must create an authentic learning environment where students can engage and share their knowledge freely to become active participants in their own learning. Bloom’s taxonomy (Bloom et al., 1956) is a great example which helps aid student learning and assessments by creating a set of learning objectives and classroom activities. This framework describes three models (cognitive, psychomotor and affective) used to assess learning in different varieties of cognitive levels (Crompton, Bruke, & Lin, 2018). Most curriculum developers use this as a basis for most instructional design. Having a goal and understanding the needs for instruction can be a good basis for motivation; learners would then have knowledge of what to expect during instruction.
In conclusion, I believe that culture and accumulation of experiences are the main factors of how people learn. Over time, people tend to discover their own learning styles and adapt to overcome barriers that they may encounter as they move forward. As educators, we should strive to make learning applicable to real-world experiences making lessons universal, challenging, and will enhance the retrieval of knowledge in the future.
Bloom, B., Englehart, M., Furst, E., Hill, W., & Krathwohl, D. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: Longman.
Crompton, H., Bruke, D., & Lin, Y.-C. (2018, September 17). Mobile learning and student cognition: A systematic review of PK‐12 research using Bloom’s Taxonomy. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(2), 684-701. Retrieved from https://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2147/10.1111/bjet.12674
Gilboa, A., & Marlatte, H. (2017, August). Trends in Cognitive Science. Retrieved from Science Direct: https://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2142/science/article/pii/S1364661317300864?via%3Dihub
Piaget, J. (1953). To understand is to invent. New York: Grossman (French: Ou va I’education?, 1948).
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000, January). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 54-67.
Semrud-Clikeman, M. (2010, February 16). Research in brain function and learning. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/education/k12/brain-function