16 July 2013

Sharing Passions for Learning

Do you have a passion? A real, profound passion, one that drives you, an obsession that stretches your mind and soul to achieve?

Passion is different to mere interest; passion consumes one to reach for perfection, whether that be in dance, music, mathematical understanding or any other field of knowledge. 

As I read reflections and recommendations about how education has changed and indeed, needs to change to meet today's social demands and work environments,  I find the notion of passion often missing. Not that the writers don't have or share their passion, but the need to tap into learners' own passions seems to be absent, taking second place to other educational issues. I often also hear the complaint of how learners will use their digital devices for everything but learning. Creating digital learning environments take time.  As someone who has recently experienced student rejection of using digital platforms  and tools for learning, I can easily understand the frustration and perplexity that one is left with.

However, there are means to overcome this reluctance and resistance. One approach is tapping into learners' own passions. Yes, educators always have a set curriculum to follow and regular assessments to carry out. But as educators, have you forgotten your passions? What made and still makes you return to classrooms? As many reasons as there may be in a tapestry to why one is a teacher,  it is passion for learning, passion for empowering others, passion to inspire growth in others,  that keeps teachers returning back to classrooms.

Collective.li is a platform for sharing one's passions.

Students can collect videos, images, articles and organise them in collections.

Whether for a syllabus project or giving weekly time for learner-focused activities, helping students find their real passion in life is an essential feature of education.

Each individual has their own talent, their own passion.

Tapping into one's talent and passion is not always so linear; life and learning are organic, evolving chaos. Giving learners a tool for their self expression,  encouraging their talents and interest, a tool for developing their own passion, is in my mind, a motivating approach to learning. 

How do you encourage learners to develop their passions in life?