Sunday, March 22, 2009

Learning about Learning

I went rock climbing this weekend with the uni mountaineering club. It was an awesome experience and between being mildly dehydrated and having ants in my tent I managed to climb up a 30 metre ascent. During the weekend I had some time to think about the teaching course I am currently enrolled in. I got to thinking about learning and how what I am mainly focused on at the moment is learning about how learning takes place. What stages occur when a person learns and how we are best motivated to learn well. In fact I got to thinking about how learning occurs in everything we do and in every situation we find ourselves. We learn about people when we talk to them. We learn about who they are and what they do. We learn about what type of people they are. We learn about what they are interested in and what they like to talk about. We learn what makes them excited and what bores them. All through this we also learn about ourselves if we are reflective. We learn about what we are by the words we use to describe what we do and who we are, what makes us excited and what makes us bored. We learn about our personality in different stages on knowing other people. Like going from a shy outsider to a part of a group to a character that is remembered and someone who contributes to the group's experiences.
One thing that stood out for me is those moments of subtle change when you find common ground with a person and you both converse for a while on a similar topic. There are also moments when you ask another person about the things that they are interested in and they grow animated and excited as they "teach" you about what they know or are working on or learning about.
I enjoy looking at things through the eye of a teacher and noticing the subtle learning that is ongoing in everything we do. I am starting to think that part of the challenge of a teacher is not in motivating students to learn, but in finding ways that they can make learning something that motivates them to live.

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