Passionate Learning

This week I read two Passion-Based Learning articles. The first was 3 Questions to Drive Passion-Based Learning by George Couros. Couros made some interesting points on what teachers can do to help stimulate learning, especially when relating to passionate projects. The three questions that he had in general were his best ideas that he illustrated. What will I learn? What will I solve? What will I create? I thought Couros did a good job of explaining the first and third questions, but he definitely left some questions and some unexplained areas in the second. He mentioned that we need to teach students to become problem finders versus problem solvers. While, I agree we need to teach to uncover complex problems, I still believe that we need to continue to teach our students to be thinkers and problem solvers. Yes, in the real world we won’t have the problem identified for us, but students still need the skill of learning how to solve the problem. They both go together, and need to be taught for our students to develop into critical thinkers. I would honestly love to learn more how to teach problem finders, and how to develop this skill in our students.

The second article I read was called 25 Ways to Institute Passion-Based Learning in the Classroom by Sara Briggs. Right away Briggs pointed out that getting students motivated and engaged passionately is the key to getting students to learn and develop. Stating that is “now scientifically proven”. I enjoyed reading her points, because it gave an easy progress to read and analyze of little things that teachers can do to help stimulate their students during passion-based learning projects. One of the essential things I took away from the article, wasn’t even in the list. She mentioned that tapping into the student’s emotions is absolutely essential in the learning process. After reading that, I stopped and thought about how much sense that actually made! We can all be very emotional creatures, and if we as educators can tap into that, we can increase the retainment, and development of the learner. At the same time, we need to show just as much positive emotion teaching, because they need a role model on how to deal with your emotions.Something that I think can be easily overlook in the classroom setting, since there are some many other kids in each class. However, if we can achieve this emotional influence, then our students are going to benefit in a much more positive way that previously conceived.

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4 Comments

  1. Good thoughts, here. On the point of teaching students to be problem-solvers. I’m certain that Couros wasn’t saying to stop teaching problem-solving, but we tend to hand-feed students WHAT the problem is rather than letting them discover the problems on their own.

    From the article: “While everyone looks at how we could help young people become better problem-solvers, we’re not thinking how we could create a generation of problem finders. Thinking about this, students could look at problems that they can find within the school, local, or even global community, and share how they have solved it.”

    This is a real issue spans across multiple disciplines from history to science to mathematics. We give our students plenty of problems to solve, but rarely give them a real-life scenario and let them discover where the problems are and discover how to go about solving them. We have thousands of students who leave high school knowing how to work algebra or calculous problems they’re handed. Yet rarely do these students know how to discover where they’ll use this skill in real life.

    I also love that one of your essential take-aways from article #2 wasn’t even in the list. 😀 Good thoughts, here.

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  2. This is absolutely true. We, as humans, connect with everything through emotions. Activating these emotions, positive ones as you said, can engage the students and really get them to want to learn the material. Passion-based learning is how we active these emotions.

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