As teachers we often hear about the importance of pedagogies and classroom strategies. There are some problems with some educational institutions, in my opinion, and I would like to address a few of the problems here.
It is my opinion based on experience and research that not enough learning centers teach us new ways to keep our students learning. This is a problem, because people change and as we do more research, we learn more about how people learn. Quinn (2016) states that arguably, it’s schooling that hinders our natural learning, where we lose choice, failure is considered bad, copying and conversing are considered cheating, and so on.
Another issue I have with the way many learning centers approach learning is they tend to focus on one or two things at a time. For example, something I have been hearing a lot of lately is women in technology and how do we get more women in the field? I see this as a problem, because there are many minorities, not just women, and we should make sure ALL of our students are getting a quality education, not just one or two. If we focus too much on one particular sector, we leave other students behind. It is my idea that we use multiple methods for all the students so we leave no one behind. Intelligence is often defined as our intellectual potential, something we can be born with, something that can be changed (Cherry, 2016). This idea is called The Theory of Multiple Intelligences where Howard Garner suggests in order to capture the full range of abilities and talents that people possess, people have many intelligences that represent talents, personality traits, and abilities. While I do not work for public schools that might have a higher need for multiple ranges of courses per student, I have seen in the classroom it is important to use multiple methods that reach each individual student. While Garner does not seem to have the research to support his theories, Malcolm Knowles’ (1980) concept of andragogy is one of the best known models that guide adult learning. I feel one of the key indicators in Knowles assumptions is that there is a change in perspective as learners get older. I would like to take this perspective and apply it to all cultural learners. McClusky’s Theory of Margin should get some merit here as well because he recognizes external loads for adults with normal life requirements such as family and work can interfere with adult learning (Merriam, 2007). In that sense, we need to ensure we give our students enough support and learning approaches to ensure they are getting the best possible education.
What Can We Do About It?
My advice? The best way to ensure your student's success is to get educated. Learn about adult learning theories, learn about personality and generations such as Generation X. Learn about pedagogies and learning activities that enhance a student’s learning through visual, through hands-on, and through discussion. Study learning models such as Self-Directed Learning, Transformational Learning, Active Learning, and Experience and Learning. If you want to be the best instructor out there, learn how to use and incorporate these methods in your teaching to ensure you reach each and every student. Also, be approachable and understanding. Your students will thank you!
Cherry, K. (2016, October 3). Gardners's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Retrieved from What Are Multiple Intelligences?: https://www.verywell.com/gardners-theory-of-multiple-intelligences-2795161
Merriam, S. C. (2007). Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide. San Fransisco: John Wiley & Sons.
Quinn, C. (2016, February 24). Why Learning to Lern is More Important then Ever! Retrieved from Elearning Blog: http://www.litmos.com/blog/articles/why-learning-to-learn-is-more-important-than-ever