Week 7: How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?

What is Purpose-Driven-Learning?  Moreno poses the simple question, “What is the purpose of school?”, and makes the simple response, “The purpose of school is learning.” (Moreno, 2015).  Matera describes ten common qualities that successful people have in common, which Adam Moreno stated in his blog (quotes from blog).

  • Confidence: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss
  • Creativity: “You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Enthusiasm: “Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.” – Bo Bennett
  • Effort: “It is not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; it’s what you put into the practice.” – Eric Lindros
  • Focus: “Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.” – Seneca
  • Resilience: “Success is to be measured, not so much by the position that one has reached in life…as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington
  • Initiative: “Do your best when no one is looking. If you can do that, you can be successful in anything you put your mind to.” – Bob Cousy
  • Curiosity: “Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers.” – Voltaire
  • Dependability: “Power is actualized only when word and deed have not parted company.” – Hannah Arendt
  • Empathy: “See with the eyes of another, listen with the ears of another, and feel with the heart of another.”- Alfred Adler

 

These words can help us convey to students what it means to have purpose in learning.  In order for students to have that drive to want to self-learn, which should be the goal of every educator, we need to teach students a new way to view learning, and the classroom characteristics that accompany it.  It helps to understand the personal motivations that drives students.  Bartle describes four gamer types (Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, Griefers) that will help us personalize learning for students, and if we incorporate elements into learning that motivates these types of students, we can be on our way to have purpose-driven-learning.

Many of the characteristics of a traditional classroom do not teach these keys to purpose-driven-learning.  They may have some of them, but they lack most.  In my experiences as a high school teacher for the last 22 years, I can attest I have not tried to teach all the keys that would help students become self-learners.  It has not helped that our educational system has focused so much on standardized testing, grades, and graduation rates.  We have not had a chance to teach students how to learn, and to enjoy learning.  I believe the one stigma that needs to change in our educational system is to allow students to fail.  I think if we incorporate gamification in school, that will change the mindset that it’s wrong to fail.  In gaming, it is almost impossible to not fail, but if you do, you just restart and try again.  That is the beauty of learning.  You are not going to “get it” the first time, or maybe the fifth time, but you have to try to understand, and that will come eventually.  That is what we are trying to achieve with learning.  It’s a process.

References:

Matera, Michael. Explore Like a Pirate: Engage, Enrich, and Elevate Your Learners with Gamification and Game-inspired Course Design (Kindle). Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. Kindle Edition.

Moreno, Adam. (2015). Purpose Driven Learning. [blog]. Retrieved from http://www.mrmoreno.com/blog/purpose-driven-learning

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3 thoughts on “Week 7: How do you or might you use language to change the way that your students think about learning in the classroom?

  1. Gerald,

    Wow! The quotes that go with each word are awesome! Thank you for sharing these. I completely agree that we have maintained the stigma that it is not okay to fail—failing has become something like “if you fail, you might as well give that subject area up, because you are just not good enough at that.” I was certainly influenced by this negative mantra that basically says, “you have to be a natural at [fill in the blank] in order to be good at [. . .].

    Yes, sitting through standardized testing discussions where we are taught that “the good new is that when you’re at the bottom, all you can do is go up.” Well, why are we at the bottom; and in a bell curve, doesn’t some group have to “live there?” Time to shed that and allow teachers to think for themselves so we can facilitate students in doing the same.

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  2. Gerald- I like the ten common qualities that Matera describes that successful people have. I think these are great words to teach our students. I agree, these words can help us convey to students what it means to have purpose in learning.  I like what you say here, “We have not had a chance to teach students how to learn, and to enjoy learning.  I believe the one stigma that needs to change in our educational system is to allow students to fail.” This is true and I also believe that is we had more games in the classroom the students will see that failing is part of life but you don’t give up just keep trying.

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  3. Gerald, I enjoyed reading your blog for the week. Especially that in your last 22 years of teaching, you see what the affects are on our students, of only focusing on standardized testing, and graduation rates. Students are unengaged, unmotivated, afraid of risk taking… I agree that gamification could help our education system and help students realize it’s okay to fail.

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