How We Learn sample essay

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‘What have I learned about learning, and what are the implications of this for my future practice?’

In this assignment I will be identifying in a personal way, what I have learnt about learning from my own education and also drawing from my previous experiences. I will also be exploring ways in which I believe, for my future practice as a teacher, children will be able to achieve their full learning potential. “Learning is a complex concept and activity” (Hewitt 2008) in which every individual does in enabling them to gain new skills or knowledge. Every individual learns in a different way, where as one technique may work well for one individual, it may not work for another. We should never stop learning in order to progress as an individual. In order for the skills and knowledge to remain stored individuals should keep using the skills in which they have acquired overtime. These skills should be applied to different things such as projects so that the skills are remained stored and fresh in the mind.

As every individual has a certain learning style, to help us learn more effectively it is best to know and understand our learning style. Through identifying your learning style, you will be able to capitalise on your strengths and improve your self-advocacy skills. Learning a specific subject, knowledge, skill and so on, is down to many factors which play an important role in learning, these include: intelligence; aptitude; goals; interests; readiness & maturation; motivation; self-concept; attitudes & values; level of aspiration; learning style and socio cultural determinants – to name a few.

I believe that interests and goals are the catalyst to being a successful teacher. Children’s motivational levels in subjects need to be at a high level in order for the child to reach their full potential with their learning capabilities. “Interest is one of the most important factors which mediates learning and which motivates to act” (Factors Affecting Learning), if a child is not fully engaged in a particular subject due to low levels of interest then their learning capabilities will not be fulfilled. Whilst working in a school setting in 2010, child A stated…”

I can’t do maths – it doesn’t interest me” when there is no interest from the child, as shown in the example, there can be no learning. For my future practice it is vital that every child’s interest is engaged in subjects in order for the child to fulfil their whole learning capabilities. Young children possess a need for activity, play, adventure etc. and therefore learn much better through a play way approach. This intern arouses their interest in learning and helps sustain their involvement in learning new skills and knowledge through their work. For effective learning to take place, we should be able to relate it to all that we learn. This will enable us to achieve our goals. “Goals play a significant role in learning since they give strength and direction to it” (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development) because goals help to direct our attention to the task at hand. Psychologist Murphy and Alexander (2000) have written about a variety of goal orientations which help us to understand learners learning and performance especially at a young age.

“The important orientations are the learning goals, performance goals and work avoidance” (British Journal of Educational Psychology). In my future practice as a teacher, in order to gain children’s interest in learning my aim will be to encourage children to be curious and eager to learn. From my work placement in a school setting, children are more successful when they learn to ask questions, think independently and also being very creative. Children need to be curious about the world, interested in how things work, and also know how to creatively approach problems. Child B asked a question…”Do Fly’s sleep?” I resisted answering the question straightaway and asked Child B “What do you think? Where do you think we could find the answer?”. In responding in this way, I was encouraging Child B to think for themself, this also helps children build their self-esteem. Creativity is a very important tool in every individual’s learning, “creativity is essentially a form of problem-solving. But it is a special type of problem-solving–one that involves problems for which there are no easy answers: that is, problems for which popular or conventional responses do not work.

Creativity involves adaptability and flexibility of thought. These are the same types of skills that numerous reports on education” (e.g., the Carnegie Report, 1986) have suggested are critical for students (Creativity in Young Children). During my work placement in a school setting, creativity was essential for progressive learning. In order for creativity to take place the school created an environment that allowed the children to explore and play without undue restraints. Also, a key to the successful progression of every child’s learning was that we adapted to every childs ideas, rather than trying to structure the child’s ideas to fit the adults. Learners need to have the opportunity and confidence to take risks, challenge assumptions, and also see things in a new way.

I believe in educating the whole child as education comes from a wide range of experiences. All powerful learning occurs through engagement with others, the process and also the product of this learning is very important. Children learn mainly by modelling, actions speak louder than words. “The majority of learning is tied to developments and takes time to see results” (Emphatic parenting). In order to teach children, we need to supportively help them understand first. A vital part of all learning is that of reflecting over what the individual has learnt.

Every individual matters in the learning process because every individual has equal rights to dignity and also respect. As seen, I have learnt about a vast amount of learning techniques that will enable children to reach their full potential, as well as realising how this will be applied throughout my life as a continual learner. I have also, through-out my educational life and previous experience in my placement, discovered the ways in which I learn. This will now enable me to take this knowledge and skill base and apply this to progress successfully in my future practice as a teacher.

* P. K. Murphy and P. A. Alexander. A motivated exploration of motivation terminology. Contemporary Educational Psychology 25. 2000. Pages. 3–53. * * * * * *