Learning is inevitable
Updated: May 23, 2019
Learners are not disengaged in learning...they are disengaged in what they are expected to do!
I ask myself, have the grown ups forgotten that learning is instinctive? That it is inevitable?
We learned to walk and to talk because we were inspired to do so. There was no curriculum, There was no teacher. It just happened. And, even though learning a new language and how to use it is one of the most sophisticated skills to master, it was easy.
Babies have a huge sense of self. They instinctively know what they need, to get along in the world.
The wisdom and knowing being within, is nothing new, Socrates beat us to it, education, educe...educe to draw out...
So, even though this knowledge has been available to us since at least when Socrates was around, the teaching process seems to still be stuck in the "motivating, manipulating, moulding, teacher knows best, pour the information in" model.
The ISMIT model.
Information, skills based teaching, it's a huge part of the learning process, but Google and YouTube are making traditional teachers redundant!
Motivational learning, where you get hold of an idea and take it to its logical conclusion, it's the carrot we attach to the task or the project where at best, upon its completion it is popped up on top of a cupboard along with the learning... As educators we are finding it more and more difficult to find the carrot that will buy the learner. We are out of touch with what engages them, it seems we are teaching more and more challenging children, maybe more and more children are challenging the way we teach.
At six years old, my son, who at best could be described as a disengaged learner, NEEDED to know how much his Minecraft sword was worth, so he learnt how much 1000 divided by 400 was. He needed to know, so he made sure he found out. At eight years old he needed to make his own server, so he did, at ten he made his Youtube Channel. He would google and you tube, blog, vlog, skype and much more. Again, There was no curriculum, there was no teacher, it just happened - because he NEEDED to.
This is what we might call inspired learning, unlike motivational learning where the learner gets hold of the idea, Inspirational learning is the exact opposite. It is where an idea gets hold of a learner and takes him or her to where they were intended to go, inspired in spirit.
As teachers, are our programmes and timetables and Pinterest activities distracting learners from connecting to where they were intending to go? Interrupting their inspiration. Distracting them from connecting to something greater than themselves.
Which brings me to Transformational learning: Where an idea gets hold of the learner and takes him or her to beyond their imagining. Connecting to something that is greater than themselves.
Teaching and learning is about people it's about inclusivity...at the moment we are still creating the cans and the can nots, the wills and the will nots. We should be HONOURING and valuing all learners as having knowing and wisdom within, who have the potential to inform, motivate, inspire and transform themselves and each other. They are the teachers, along with the home, community, library, church, museums, sports clubs, Internet and never underestimate the power of the peer.
So if everyone and everything else is the teacher, what is the teacher's job? The role of teachers is to see the learning for the first time AGAIN AND AGAIN. To see the learning in what the learners are choosing to do, giving the space, freedom and permission for the learners to follow their inspiration, to trust the wisdom of the learner.
At the same time, we need to be learners ourselves, being inspired and transformed by those people and stories that help us to have greater knowing about what we value because the more we know the values of patience, joy, respect, relationship etc, the more informative, motivational, inspirational and transformative our teaching will be...WE can LET GO, and HAVE FAITH THAT ALL CHILDREN WILL INSTINCTIVELY LEARN, because LEARNING IS INEVITABLE.
Therese is from a large family with three children of her own. Mr 26, Miss 24 and Master 15. As an educator with many years of experience, she has collected plenty of stories, she uses these and family tales to inform her teaching practice.