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My Learning Philosophy

     What is my learning philosophy? As a teacher, I have a teaching philosophy in my paper portfolio, which I will now have to revise completely based on what I have leaned now in Digital leading and Learning (DLL). A learning philosophy is about the learner, how they learn, what their belief, practices, and to make connection in learning. Harapnuik (n.d.) states "An old adage states: 'Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand.' I like to take this a step further by adding 'challenge me and I learn.'" This above quote is  like it was completely writing for, and about me. Tell me all you want but until I do it, it does not make any sense to me. I have always been aware that I am a life learner. Throughout my 22 years in the Navy, I always sought any school I could obtain in order to continue to be the expert in my field. I also utilized this same philosophy in training the sailor appointed under me. my feelings were, "if you want to be a 4.0 sailor, learn the most you can."

    So what type of learner am I? I am a life long learner but that does not define what type of learner I am, just how long of a learner. The two main learning type, for me at least are behaviorism and constuctivism. Before I can define myself, we need to look at what each are.

 

Behaviorism, is what our current curriculum is written for. We teach the information and students absorb it and are rewarded with pass or fail.  Everything is based on standardization. Students are expected to recall pertinent information in order to pass a standardized test. The learning is extrinsic with a system of positive and negative reinforcement (Berkley Graduate Division, n.d.).

 

In contrast, constuctivism is about providing the learner with the skills so that "meaning is constructed in the mind of the individual through discovery, with a focus on the process of assimilation and accommodation of knowledge." (Hung & Seng, 2003). It is intrinsic in manner where the learner is the focus in active assimilation of the information. There is cognitive (individual) as well as social contructivism (Berkley Graduate Division, n.d.).

In retrospect, I am a cognitive contructivist learner, yet I teach in behaviorist manner. I was not aware of this until this week. I realized that the main reason i excelled was because I knew the why of what I was learning. Learning had a reason, whether for completion of ones job, a learning goal or simply because I was curious, I knew why I was learning it. How quickly I assimilated the information was often based on the priority of the task. Knowing this, I will have to be more attentive to my teaching style. As stated previously, I teach in a behaviorist manner.  My task now is to find a way to transition from a behaviorist style of teaching to a constructivist style while still meeting the requires of the district and state testing.

Berkley Graduate Division. (n.d.). Overview of learning theories. Retrieved from https://gsi.berkeley.edu/gsi-guide-contents/learning-theory-research/learning-overview/

Harapnuik, D. (n.d.). Learning philosophy [Blog post]. Retrieved from It’s about learning website: http://www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=95

Hung, D. & Seng, C.T. (2003). Beyond information pumping: Creating a constructivist e-learning environment. Retrieved from https://luonline.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/pid-3715918-dt-content-rid-57449903_1/xid-57449903_1