Creating a Significant Learning Environment

How can I create a significant learning environment?

Douglas Thomas author of A New Culture of Learning said:

“Learning is a fundamental easy thing we do from the day we are born until the day we die, and that for most of our lives its natural and its effortless everywhere but school.”

 If you were to go from my classroom to the classroom down the hall you wouldn’t see much difference in the learning environments. This is because everyone that teaches around me including myself were all taught using the same traditional way of teaching as you may have been. The teacher comes in and stands in front of you a lectures from an outline over chapter(s) you were supposed to read before class and then you go home and study the book and notes until you have it memorized so you can come back to class and put it on the test. I have learned recently that there is a better way to educating minds.

Creating a significant learning environment takes into consideration the learners passion- what do they enjoy doing, their imagination- asking “what if”, and constraint- giving them an opportunity to create in the face of an obstacle.

Developing a new Learning Philosophy was not easy because I am a skills learner. This makes me very analytical because you can give me a task with set parameters and I can practice is over and over then I can perfect it and get faster producing quantity and quality. You could say I had a fixed mindset. Developing this new learning environment has caused me to have to change to a Growth Mindset, where I have to embrace challenges, be persistent with setbacks, and learn from criticism, but by my changing I have learned what I need to do to spark my students.

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”        Zig Ziglar

Part of this change was developing goals for the learner, these goals are the driving force to developing the new learning environment.  Some even develop a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), this big overreaching goal is what you use to set your sights on, not the unattainable but a very high goal that keeps you trying ever reaching higher and higher to continue changing the learning environment for my learners.

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”       Steve Jobs

Creating this significant learning environment will not be easy in fact it will even seem backwards by design and it will be time consuming but it will be worth it to me and my students.