After reading the modules on Learning Theories, I became familiar with behavioral and cognitive approaches on educational psychology, the role of maturation on learning and the “guided opportunity” vs. traditional approach to teaching. This learnings opened my mind on why at some points of my student’s life, I experienced difficulty, and sometimes boredom, on subjects where my teachers do not provide conducive environment for learning. And why some teachers left a mark on my life by providing us experiential learning. Since I’m aspiring to be a classroom teacher someday, I shall take note of these differences in teaching approaches so that I can optimize learning of my students and then leave a positive mark on their lives.
To answer the question on the “fairer definition” of learning and academic achievements, I believe that academic achievements mean good grades, medals, awards or distinctions. Though academic achievements are a good measure for successful learning, those who were not so fortunate to be called academic achievers may well be called successful learners if they can apply and relate prior knowledge and experiences to new concepts, and if they have developed their attitudes and skills for the better. Then learning has taken place.
The discussions on maturation’s role on learning helped me to understand the different learning capacities of my students, and why some, though they have the potential to learn, cannot cope with the concepts presented to them at one stage of their education. With this knowledge, I shall exert more patience in understanding the individual needs of my students. I shall also make sure that basic concepts or ideas are mastered before proceeding with the next lesson, and will always relate new concepts to their past knowledge so that students will best comprehend and accept new learnings, and also validate past knowledge.
This module also focused on empowering the students to do critical thinking and exploring on their own. Although I have previous knowledge of this, I sometimes question if this is the right approach to every student. Since majority of the students prefer spoon feeding, and are reluctant to try on their own, it is always easier to just give them knowledge, and everyone is happy. But my thoughts on this changed after reading Huitt’s articles on learning theories. Though providing “guided opportunities” may seem a rigorous approach to learning, it will in the long run contribute to the self-development of students. I shall slowly but definitely shift my teaching method to this kind of approach especially to spoon-fed students.
The topic on the types of educational research- descriptive, correlational and experimental- as well as the scientific ways of collecting data are significant tools which I hope to use in addressing teaching-learning issues in the future.
Right now, I can think of possibly researching the relationship of why students dislike self-studying and their past learning experiences.
To conclude, in just barely two weeks of studying pthis course, I have acquired a great deal of information which would be very useful in my future teaching endeavours. I have not anticipated this, and is completely amazed, sometimes overwhelmed, by the magnitude of learnings I have gained. I may have known the concepts of what I’m teaching but had I not learned these teaching approaches, I will not be an effective educator as I wish to be.