· Learning is a complicated, measureable and relatively permanent change in behaviour attained through experience, instruction or study.
It is an internal activity and a key personal development skill which can be modified through interaction with different situations (CIE Resource-Learning Theories, 2014). Being a teacher, my personal perception is that learning is dependent on a variety of factors and it can take place in various ways. Some people learn through repetition while others learn well after interacting with the real world through experience.
Sometimes learning is related to the behaviour of the learners and sometime it is dependent on the cognition level of the learners. After developing a sound understanding of the learning theories, I have realised that constructivism is the core element in the learning process (Vygotsky and Social Constructivism, Jean Piaget Constructivism, Bruner Constructivism) because it helps the learners to construct their own understanding based on their existing knowledge and helps to secure the new learning. I believe that the modified behaviour of the learner also affects their learning. As a teacher, I have noticed and experienced that different learners have different learning needs, styles and preferences as they possess multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983). I am now of the point of view that the processes of teaching and learning are interlinked and a teacher must modify her teaching strategies according to the learners’ level of understanding. I am responsible for the learning of my pupils and know well that teaching can be effective when it is connected to real life examples. It can be effective only when the learners are motivated to achieve the set goals (Petty, 2014) as it requires active and constructive involvement of the learners. The 5E’S (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) also help in the learning process.
· As a teacher, I strongly believe that the learners learn well if they are provided chances to construct their own understanding through experience by means of different activities. I believe that students and learners are a team where all the participants should work together to achieve the set learning goals. Keeping in mind the varied learning styles of the learners, I think all the activities should be planned according to their needs and interests. This will result in engaging the learners as well as aid in developing their thinking skills (CIE Resource-Experiential Learning). Motivation and positive feedback help in building confidence in the learners and make them enthusiastic to take an active part in all learning activities (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, 1943). I think that learning activities based on collaborative work can help the learners to take responsibility of their own learning and create an environment of mutual respect for one another (Vygotsky, 1978). As a teacher, I believe that the learners learn well if they connect their prior knowledge to the new content which helps them to build new knowledge on the basis of the old one. I also feel that the students learn well and feel confident if they share their ideas with their peers through class discussions, presentations and debates etc.
Graphic organizers also help to grab the interest of the learners and to motivate them to work enthusiastically by providing them a concrete hands-on activity (Petty, 2014). I believe that group activities, graphic organizers, hand-on activities, use of ICT, positive and timely feedback and scaffolding are the basic tools that help to make the learning meaningful. · Assessment is the process of gathering and using information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop better understanding of what students know, understand and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences (Huba and Fareed, 2000). It makes the learning visible and helps the learners to move on in their learning. There are two major types of assessments used in the classroom. Formative assessment is carried out during the learning and helps to form the learners’ learning and to look forward to what they will do with their learning.
The purpose of formative assessment or Assessment for Learning is to monitor or support the learners’ learning and to motivate them. The purpose of summative assessment is to judge the quality and characteristics of the student’s learning and summarize these in a clear and widely acceptable format at the end of an academic year. Although both these types are equally important during the learning process, but the form of assessment I use to judge the level of understanding of my pupils and make quick decisions to step forward is formative assessment. I also believe that assessment without timely and positive feedback can’t work effectively (Hattie, 2014). It is because the feedback helps in achieving the learning goals and to set new ones.
It helps in motivating and raising self-esteem of the learners and in achieving the learning outcomes. It provides concrete opportunities to close the gaps between current and desired performance and shapes the future learning (CIE Resource-Assessment). I also use summative assessment at the end of a session of learning to evidence what the students have actually learned. The need is to be active and constructive while taking decisions about the purposes of the assessment and the content that is to be assessed. Word limit:800 words