A Shared Learning Philosophy: Expressed by an Inspired Learner
Respect is the foundation of every aspect of our learning and an understanding shared by all learners in our learning community. All learners have strengths, talents, thoughts and beliefs that make them special and valuable. We listen, we consider, we question, we explore, we connect and we appreciate ideas, because that’s how we learn. The connections we construct in our learning experiences build skills, attitudes, and understandings that will follow us throughout our lives.
Our teacher is our lead learner. She motivates and engages students to want to learn. We’re inspired to ask interpretive questions; questions that have more than one answer, require research, and encourage higher-level thinking. She rarely gives us answers, but provides us with tools and methods for finding our own answers. She creates authentic learning experiences, involving current topics and real world problems, inspired by our interests. She respects our diverse cultures, beliefs, and attitudes and encourages us to share them in various open and accepting learning forums. She promotes global learning experiences, because our world is global and must extend beyond the walls of our classroom. She supports our individual learning styles and abilities and helps us learn how to utilize and develop our strengths and talents. She collaborates with classroom and specialist teachers, identifies curriculum needs, and helps to construct new possibilities. She participates in our activities and alleviates frustrations by scaffolding the process. She models and encourages behaviors that foster habits and attitudes that encourage our desire for further learning.
Our teacher provides access to reading and information in a multitude of diverse formats. She believes that empathizing with others helps us discover who we are and who we want to be. She encourages us to write our own stories, using journaling tools such as blogs, to share and reflect on our learning. She keeps up with the latest technologies and advocates their use in meeting learning goals. We learn how to use social networks and collaborative learning tools in a respectful and effective manner. We learn about fair use, copyright laws and crediting others’ work when using it as a resource for our own work. We learn how and where to find credible information and how to evaluate information according to our needs. We learn to access information from various viewpoints, to summarize, organize and synthesize what we’ve learned, and most importantly, to find personal meaning from our learning. By applying and sharing our new knowledge in innovative, meaningful and appropriate ways, we learn that we can make a difference. What we have to share is important and our voice needs to be heard.
Students in our learning environment are curious, because their questions are encouraged and pursued. Students are creative, expressive and imaginative, because they are motivated to think of enterprising ways to solve problems and share learning. Students are passionate, because they are inspired to pursue their own interests. Students are empathetic, because they work collaboratively, and share and discover diverse ideas and beliefs on a regular basis. Students persevere, because their input is respected, their abilities and preferences are considered, and their learning is supported. Students are adaptable, because they’ve experienced the benefits of a needed change in plans. Students function effectively in an information rich environment, because they’ve mastered the skills necessary to meet their needs. Students write, speak and convey their thoughts convincingly, because they own their learning and are compelled to share it. Students are independent thinkers, because they’ve been given choice. Students assess and regulate their own behaviors and strategies, because they consistently participate in reflective learning practices.
Our teacher believes that education empowers us to follow our dreams, to have faith in our voice, and to add value to our world. We believe in education.