My Viewpoints on Personal Learning Theory
I believe top educators motivate, engage, and challenge students to want to learn or become lifelong students. As our nation attempts to keep the brightest minds to advance freedom of thoughts and ideas so that progress continues, it is imperative that we recognize as a society how important it is to hire and employ quality professionals and leaders who do not view the occupation as “job” but see it as an opportunity or “calling” to make a difference. When looking at personal learning theories, I can see pieces of all theories as an important part of the overall make up of the 21st Century School.
Our job as educators is to facilitate learning and model learning. In addition, educators need to expose students to a wide range of viewpoints and ideas. Lectures and death by powerpoint is not engaging and often this is what a college student will encounter when attempting to “learn” how to be a 21st century teacher. Instructions and small lectures may be needed, but this should not be our main focus. For this reason, I have strong feelings regarding the objectivist model of learning. The objectivist model of learning is boring and does not give students the experiences needed to really gain knowledge.
The constructivist model of learning is a more preferred approach because it centers on students and is student led. Student follow the scientific method of approach and the teacher facilitates and allows the students to find knowledge on their own, with the teacher acting as a guide, which is a 21st century skill set. Problem based learning and challenge based learning are both approaches that follow this model, and students find PBL and CBL very engaging and rewarding. Students also enjoy collaborating and working in a team environment, either virtual teams for face to face. The cooperative learning model is also essential for students to succeed in the global economy. Students must be exposed to other cultural norms and societies and the socioculutural model allows for students to think about global connections and viewpoints.