I started my journey to become an educator with no ideas what will I suppose to learn. It seemed black and white for me. I felt that I am starting my journey with no sense at all. Sometimes, I asked myself is my goal just for the sake of grabbing the licence as teacher or is it for self fulfillment? I know that in mind and heart that my ultimate goal is to inspire and motivate students in achieving their dreams in life.
I enrolled in Professional Teaching Certification (PTC) in University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) last term. I was blindfolded before but when I enrolled that was the start of an expedition in realizing my dreams as an educator. My first term in UPOU was an eye opener with lots of ideas in teaching profession; it was challenging but made me more aware with my journey towards achieving my dreams. Here we go again; I need to enrol for the third term but I don’t know what course to choose, uhmm suddenly there was a light bulb came in my mind and one course I chose was EDS 103 Theories of Learning. Why theories of learning? I know that this course will help me be knowledgeable on what constitutes the learning behavior of students.
January 4, 2014 was the start of the class; I was challenged with bulk of requirements and tasks to be accomplished. Is it the time to give up early? I said “NO”, I knew in my heart that I can do it. It was just a challenge, and I am ready to cross the rough roads or even to be in the great ravine to accomplish the tasks. Nonetheless, I already started my expedition and I am here not to give up but to learn on how to be an effective and efficient educator in the future. As the expedition went by, a lot of challenges came in. Being a full time worker and a distance education learner, it was not easy. There were times I am in state of “I don’t know what to do and don’t know what to say” (I am not a psychiatric patient, it was just simple anxiety that I was able to manage. haha) because of stressful work environment and a lot of lessons to read. One of my officemates asked me, “Hindi ka ba napapagod sa ginagawa mo, walang social life puro work and school?” I said to her “haha, ginusto ko to eh at kakayanin ko para sa inaasam kong pangarap”. I am guilty that I sacrificed my social life, but at times when I am done with my requirements I need to hang out with my friends to watch movies just to relax. But one thing I never sacrificed and that was going to church, it is where I seek divine intervention when I feel down and if everything is not on the proper place I just kneel down and pray.
Now the time has come and it was the culmination of taking the road with the course EDS 103 Theories of Learning. I want to share with you what new perspectives in learning and teaching I learned during my journey. First, learning theories are important in the field of education because these are essential tools by educators and students to achieve succesful learning experience. These theories are evidence based and will give us incites on the background on how people learn effectively. Theories arm teachers with effective strategies to meet the learning needs of learners. Furthermore, in order for one to be successful in learning, metacognition and self regulation are important because in the end our willingness to learn should start within us. Motivation to learn starts with the mind and continues within the heart. Our goals, self-determination, self-efficacy, and expectations are important components of motivation.
As educators, awareness of the intelligences of every student is important in order to give opportunites for developing their strengths and achieving mastery, more time for connecting content area and provision for improving assessment.Added to that, all of us have innate intelligences and we sometimes fail to discover it but we must always keep on our mind that the best way to know it is nurturing on what existing knowledge that we have. I also learned that become an expert it takes a lot focus, dedication and hard work.
Behavioral theories are essential in any settings whether it be in home, school or in work. In school, an educator must be aware on how to regulate behaviors of students in order for successful learning to occur. Using of punishment and rewards should be regarded us a way of modifying students attitudes. At times, students are motivated extrinsically and not intrinsically because of these reinforcements. Therefore, reinforcements should not be solely the basis in determining on how students get motivated to learn.
In the field of education, social learning theories have essential role in developing and modifying students’ behavior towards learning. Students’ ways of responding in situation will depend on how the environment affects her or his way of thinking. They tend to be goal oriented if they see someone succeed and at times they maybe demotivated because of others failure. As educators, we must aim for students to have a successful learning experience and for it to realize we should model good behavior. Being good role models to our students will greatly impact on how they see learning in good ways. Furthermore, observational learning has vital role in the learning process because this can create a positive and negative outcomes on students’ learning depending on what they observed from other people. We must create learning materials and strategies where students can enjoy and better understand the lessons through observation.
The methods we process information affects our capacity to learn and to retrieve information. In education, cognitive theories have vital roles in harnessing students’methods of learning. The way we act is the result of the way we think. Realizing the essence of cognitive theories will facilitate effective learning and teaching. Therefore, as educators we must incorporate different strategies using the concepts and ideas of cognitive theories so that we can instill into students minds on how they can successfully process information which includes primacy recency effect, thus effective learning can be achieved.
Constructivist perspectives deal on how students learn on their own and how collaboration with other people affects their existing knowledge or information. It means that learning is learner centered and it should be active not a passive process. To promote a learner centered environment in the classroom setting, teachers must consider the use of constructivism in learning. Lastly, our complex thinking process can be developed as long as we are self directed, self regulated and we practice metacognition. Our creativity, originality and creative thinking are innate but we must always inculcate in our mind that we have the capacity to strengthen these skills with the help of other people and of course “YOU” as the person.
Learning is enhanced in an atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation and participating in forum discussions, e journal and activities facilitate the transfer of learning. Joining these activities provided me a chance to share ideas and insights to fellow virtual learners which increases my complexity of judgment and deepens my understanding.
To sum it all, I learned that effective teaching and learning can be achieved by looking at a person holistically which includes social, cognitive, developmental, personality, behavioral and humanistic views. Thus, our aim as educators is to mold a holistic individual that will build a great society in the future.
The road to success is not easy there are obtacles that you need to take and challenges that you need to surpass but if you have the will and power surely you can make it and you will cross the road smoothly. As the course comes to an end, my expedition to be an educator is not anymore black and white but it is now colorfol as the rainbow. I must say that this was a wonderful learning experience, an experience that I will never forget as my journey as teacher goes on.
This journey will not be colorful and successful without the people who joined me during the expedition. Thank you Teacher Malou for the wisdom you have shared. Your strategies in teaching are incomparable and I salute you with that. You served as a great motivator and inspiration to me. You certainly did a great job.
To my fellow virtual learners who also served as my More Knowledgeable Others (MKO), all of you never fail to amaze me with your posts, insights and comments which made me achieve more as a learner. It was a great journey taking the road with you guys.
My expedition does not stop here. I will continue to take my journey with a great engine because of the wisdom I acquired from this experience.