This week’s activities and the resources provided for us have been so engaging and thought provoking. I have learned so much especially from
Professor Gordon Stobart’s sharing on how “the expert learners” became experts in their field of learning and the many factors that contribute to their ‘becoming experts.’ I’m also quite fascinated by how he dislikes the word ‘ability’ simply because this leads people into the wrong notion that this causes people to learn when in fact it really is just a measure of learning.
As a teacher, I found this view very helpful as it gave me a better understanding of how people learn in addition to the concepts we have already discussed last week. This view on learning is particularly important to me because it has given me an answer to why some of my students are just finding it so hard to understand some of the concepts we are tackling in school. It has also made me realise how important it is to make parents aware of the importance of their role in providing the best possible environment for their children as they grow up, ensuring that opportunities of learning are within reach.
During your own education, how has your “intelligence” been assessed?
Back in the days, learning was more teacher centred and the way in which we were assessed was through oral recitations and written tests. Only a few subjects required us to do performance assessments — Music, English, and Filipino. These performance assessments were only a part of the total package because all subjects were required to do a final written exam anyway.
How has this affected the educational opportunities you have been given? What judgments have people made about you that have been affected by an assessment of your “intelligence”?
This has definitely limited the educational opportunities I was given. I found it unfair because it did not really measure how well I have learned in school. It has focused so much on how well I could express my learning through written tests when in fact I could still prove that I have learned something through static images, blogs, music, drama, and the like. Because of this, there were times when my parents got so disappointed in me because I was given marks that did not really represent me as a learner. I remember having a very sad graduation in high school because I didn’t get any award from school.
Do you consider yourself to be a “learner”? why?
Yes, of course. I am a learner because I like to ask questions about things happening around me. I love to explore on areas that I am interested in — Education, Fiction, Music, Baking and Cooking, among others. I am a learner because I want to become better in what I do.
As we dig deeper into the subject of LEARNING, I am becoming more convinced that the future of education should be focused more on helping students develop their skills further in areas they are interested in. Over the years, we have made school curricula that’s too focused on the academic subjects — English, Math, Science, History, among others. We envisioned success to be doing well only in these areas, so that doing well in singing, dancing, drawing, carving, baking, cooking, was frowned upon and considered ‘low.’ This can easily be determined in the salary scales that governments and companies use in paying employees.