What is learning?
Well, this question is far too broad to be answered in a short blog – assuming that it can be answered at all.
But, generally, I think the definition of learning needs to be broadened well beyond the memorization of facts and numbers. Some people believe that is all there is to learning, but there is so much more.
Learning is engagement, comprehension, knowledge networking, and incorporation as well as acquisition.
I don’t believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater, however.There is value in what has come before, but there’s always so much to learn – especially about teaching and the methods to help students (of any age) reach their goals.
Helping students with motivation and encouraging them to be inquisitive is so important because these are the qualities necessary for life-long learning. Young children are naturally curious and inquisitive. We’ve all experienced the “why…why…why…why” questions! (Feels a bit like an inquisition at times – lol.)
They want to know about everything. The problem is that they are so broad and so brief that they have difficulty reigning in all the disparate bits to develop a coherent learning experience.
That, in part, is a teacher’s job (teacher = parent, tutor, coach, & teacher). The trick is to do so without completely squashing enthusiasm and eagerness to learn.
Technology today may be increasing the duration of this “scattered” learning, so as teachers/tutors/parents, our job will be to help bring the pieces together. Technology is an amazing tool, but that’s all it is without the proper use, it fails. (Yes, I dare to use the ‘f’ word!)
So, I’ve returned to my starting point. Yes, we need knowledge acquisition (facts, information) to be part of learning; however, we also need to be able to network and incorporate these pieces of data while retaining curiosity and enthusiasm.
So learners and teachers (we should all be both), stay motivated – look for the treasure inherent in all learning.
I know you can!