Sunday, July 17, 2011

Have you seen Learning? I am looking for it

I have just typed in Goole search “what is learning?” and a post from G Siemens came up on the first page. Although the post is quite old, 2005, I quite like the definition given of “learning”.

But my reflection today is where is the learning happening.

I am a teacher and I love my job but when I ask students why they come to school and that they answer “to learn” I disagree strongly. Students do not need to be at school to learn at all.
I think that technology can bring the learning anywhere, for example right now in my lounge with my laptop looking at my husband in the kitchen preparing dinner -Yummy tonight it is lamb from the garden=)

Yes technology can play an important role in bringing learning where I want but it is not the technology which is important, it is the networking of people. I am learning right now not thanks to technology but thanks to people who have used technology to put their thoughts and their own learning online. If they had not, my computer in itself would be useless. People are making my learning possible, even if it is by distance or virtually as I have not met the people I am learning from. This is formidable for me as I live far away from anything and I can learn anything from the comfort of my little house in the prairie.

So in other words, Learning has no border. So I do not need to be in a particular place to do great learning, but what I need is to know how and where to get my learning and most of all I need to have the will of learning. If I do not want to learn, wherever I am or what ever great technology I have I will not be learning.

I am the seeker of my own learning. I decide what ever I want to learn. For example, my husband and I have learned how to look after a small farm (animals, plants, gardens etc..) without prior knowledge. The only thing we knew and had was the will of learning (making it work) and the knowledge on where and how to find knowledge. As I have a degree one could think that I got those skills from school but as my husband has not had a good school experience it is definitely not behind the walls of a classroom that he has acquired those skills.

The question I have now , as a teacher is how to pass the love of learning to my students. I think teaching how/where finding knowledge is quite easy (tutorials in class on how to do a good web search is easily achievable) but how can I give my love of learning to my students ?

I need now to reflect a bit longer, I need to digest my own thoughts and in one of my next post I will think about “what is the point of school then?”


  1. This is what I work at daily - to teach my children to love learning and how exciting it is. We try to give our pupils that love for learning so that (hopefully) it will set them on the path for life. If a child discovers how wonderful learning something new is and ways to gain knowledge to enable and facilitate this, then they have a life skill that will enable them to acquire whatever knowledge they need in the future, regardless of the school they attend and the teachers they interact with.

    Someone who was visiting commented to me recently on how the children in our Kindergarten are already effective researchers with the skills to find out what they want and I punched the air saying "Yes!!!" as often when you work day to day you don't always see it.

  2. Florence, I totally agree with all your points and can relate to experiencing joy in learning journey thanks to internet.
    We were all born wanting to learn. I agree that love of learning can only be present in situations where we love what we are learning. Are your students taking French for required credit to go to University? Is it compulsory they take it for high school graduation? Are some students taking it simply because they enjoy learning French? In language education, we need to include content that students find interesting. Offering choices in what they learn and allowing them to go down divergent paths would be the ideal scenario. Expecting every student to know how to ask for directions to the Tour Eiffel when they have no desire to travel to France is not helpful. Technology provides tremendous potential for allowing learning to be personalized. But it's always a balancing act between what our students want to learn and what the Ministry expects us to include in the curriculum.