Sunday, 1 December 2013

Does Real Learning Need a Classroom? Andrew Fisher

After some time I began to ask myself the question, “does real learning need a classroom?”

Is it all just bout knowing things and being able to do what the government says we need to be able to do at each level of our national standards? Initially most of us think this as we come into teaching to some degree, as that is how we learnt and what we were told we needed to do to achieve. Real learning does not always happen in a classroom between the hours of 8:45 and 2:45 on Mondays to Fridays, it happens in real life and at home.

This year has changed my perceptions of what it means to learn and I thank the staff at TKAS for helping me alter my perception of what learning is and what a real learner is and can do, in reality a lot of this does not need a classroom, but to know the skills it takes to be able to be a good learner.

There are a lot of children we see every day in classroom situations that we sometimes make assumptions about and at times use our deficit theorizing even we think we are not to, or trying to be impartial about a childs learning or attitude. This all changes when we move to situations outside the classroom and into situations where children are more comfortable. Some students we see and think of as disruptive or making trouble are just not suited to traditional learning and really suit other styles of learning.

I have seen and learnt so much this term with my fishing group and taking them out of the class to learn in the real world. This was a real eye opener with some students who really excel in this outdoor setting and still do some real learning, which can be related to the curriculum and in these situations it is easy and real for them. This sort of learning brings home the point that we as educators need to be aware that there are other forms of learning that are just as valid and just as worthwhile that have real life meaning and real learning potential without the “drudgery” of the classroom and the “teacher talk”.

This is about changing my view on how we perceive students and deficit theorizing in a classroom that puts us as teachers in a position where we find it hard to teach students “book smarts” when in their world “street smarts” or real life learning is more important. 

If we can somehow blend these two as Karyn has been trying to do we will have students who succeed in life.

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