Holistic and active learning
Prior to reading module 4, teaching for me is the facilitation of learning. The teacher helps the learner to attain certain goals or objectives. The teacher will be the one to look for materials or resources that will provide a learning environment where the student get to ‘experience’ things and thereby forms his his/her own understanding. The teacher will also be the one to make assessment of learning. My perception of teaching was already modified when I got to study online. I was so amazed how technology has transformed the traditional classroom learning environment. So naturally, without an actual teacher and a classroom with online classmates, the role of teacher and students indeed changed and so is the teaching and learning dynamics. Of course, the number one factor that influences my perception about teaching and learning is my own autobiography as learner, both in the traditional classroom and in transition as a distant learner now.
After studying resources from this module, my perspective view widens and I got to learn so much more. In particular, with regards to learning, I now embrace the active role of learners. That learning is a social phenomenon, that diversity among student is actually a resource, that teaching should be holistic, and that knowledge is not just about what but also includes the why and how. Knowledge is constructed, not just passed onto students by the teachers. Hence, teaching too has to be modified and necessary adjustment should be incorporated.
Honestly, I am not yet confident whether I can really apply all these learning. I am hesitant as I do not know where to start, who to ask for help and how to deal with upcoming situations. I am more intimidated, rather perplexed at how things get so complicated now. For me, it is more of questioning whether these so called contemporary teaching perspectives and approaches really serve the students. I am more than willing to try but I am also adamant. I am just hoping that my would-be colleague/peers will share the same attitude as mine, an attitude of inquiry and lifelong learning. J
Teaching the whole child is what resonates with me. I am convinced that indeed learning is not just about academics, not about grades, and not about segregating the advanced students from those lagging behind. As a learner myself who has been through that traditional system, I was lucky enough to belong to the ‘cream of the crop’. In high school, I belong to the special science class where we have more subjects and our facilities were better compared with regular classes. Our teachers were also more educated and well trained compared with those teaching regular classes. In short, we were more equipped and have more privileges.
Looking back, I realised that good academic performance does not necessarily leads to success. There are those from regular classes that I think are more successful and more content in their life than those who were grade conscious. I see some of my batchmates who were kulelat then that are doing great now. Also, there are those who have latin honors yet they cannot pass board examinations and fear taking again because they anticipate more failures. These are just some of few examples that academic record does not always define success. With this, I can conclude that indeed, teaching the whole child is the way to go. As teacher, we should provide for opportunities that foster social-emotional learning for all students. I think this is very important to develop a holistic child capable of managing his/her own learning and taking responsibility of achieving goals in life, not just academics.
I think being a critically reflective teacher will make the difference. I know it is easy to say that considering that I do not have teaching experience with older learners (above 7 years old). However, I would like to learn some more by actually teaching so that in the process, I will be putting theories into practice. I will maintain writing a reflective blog to document all my learning, and of course, to inquire with peers/colleagues, and always get feedback from students so I can further improve my craft. Lastly, I am aware that the reflective practice is a never ending process and that teachers should never stop learning too.