There is a very important pillar that we should all focus on to contribute to Quality Education; it would also take us to the next step which is sustainable development. The importance of this element comes in a very critical time where values and perspectives are the hidden part of the game but the most effective ones to provide answers for many world issues. Without taking this journey into an obvious hook, I strongly believe in the importance of “Learner Philosophy” in assuring an effective learning journey and quality education!
Of course, without defining some inspirations for an effective Learner Philosophy, we would not be able to walk the right path. Before diving into those inspirations, let me share some background stories on the term; the first time I heard the word “philosophy” I was confused because I was told that it goes against some profound religious beliefs that our nation has sacred, but soon after I started having that word in my school timetable as a subject and the core definition after a year was “loving wisdom”, I loved the word and the subject.
After school, I was trained to be the one responsible for the learning and teaching environment; of a teacher, and I was introduced to “Teacher Philosophy” as a crucial document that I should have as a novice teacher. To be honest, I strongly affirm that it is very challenging to have a fixed and clear one from year one! It takes reflection, training, coaching, and practice to keep enhancing that unseen but effective element of teaching. Now, after doing all that for almost eight years, I see that also students or learners in general have to have a philosophy!
Clearly, everyone has beliefs and values when it comes to how they “be” and “do” learning, but it is time for parents, teachers, and all the partners of educational systems to start helping students set a healthy learning philosophy. That philosophy can be inspired by “Growth Mindset” (1) or any other theories that best serve learning. That goes for formal education, but it can be applied accordingly to other types of education and it will “sharpen the saw” (2) for better learning and better outcomes. We can take the importance of Research and Development from business and we can apply it to learning to see the impact of taking the time to enhance the how for a better what.
Since I am opening this as a discussion, I would to share an example of my Teaching Philosophy to show how that took me to this concern. As a “servant of growth”; or a teacher as a familiar term, I see that my main purpose is to work by the possible means to serve the learning process of the students with an important focus on their strategic growth. That drives to help in building a proactive character of students who would claim responsibility in the learning process instead of waiting for it to happen to them.
This way can serve learning with dignity, independence, and growth, but it will always need the obvious needs of quality education (macro and micro). A learner philosophy should provide a set of values and a clear purpose that must serve “being” and “doing” with presence, growth, and sustainable work. It ought to be the oxygen in that path of living and growing with learning. A learner philosophy is a “being” that keeps changing with our being and doing in life and it must always be thought of for the enhancement of learning.
So far, we have had a discussion on ideas that you may agree or disagree with, but my main focus is to let you have this term as an “ON Zone” that we keep enhancing because we will always be learning!
- Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success.Random House.
- Covey, S. R. (2004). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Restoring the character ethic([Rev. ed.].). Free Press.