Teaching and Learning

RBK International Academy | 28th September, 2018 Back to Blog

Learning as highlighted by Dr. Eleanore Hargreaves is influenced by our cultural beliefs about the purpose of education. If the purpose is to know something then the traditional approach that is exam oriented, focusses on memorization and rote learning to educate students works. All students are taught the same material and expected to learn at the same pace and there is very little connection to social development. Such a system centres on unquestioned acceptance of teacher's authority and there are clear rules to manage students' behaviour. The teacher communicates the knowledge and enforces behavioural standards.

On the other hand if the purpose is to think creatively and critically, then learning is perceived from a completely different angle. It needs to be more holistic such that it focuses on individual student needs and is more personalized. Where, there is emphasis on team work, collaboration and social development. Greater student interaction is encouraged, the boundaries of authority are broken down, and focus is on stress free learning.

Progressive approaches to learning based on Piaget's work emphasised that to learn effectively and meaningfully students need to construct meaning out of their own experiences and reflect on their experiences to develop new skills, attitudes and ways of thinking. Students would "learn by doing," applying knowledge to experience in order to develop skills or new ways of thinking (Lewis & Williams, 1994, p. 6).

Dr Eleanore talks about learning to learn that is based on Kolb's experiential learning cycle. Effective learning takes place when the learners pass through a cycle of four stages of having an experience, reflecting on that experience, learning from the experience and trying out new learning.

This is aligned with the constructivist theory about how people learn. It emphasises the importance of dialogue and a climate of shared responsibility among teachers and students where students are given voice, space, time to question, explore, inquire, argue and interact with ideas to make sense of the world around them and construct meaning. The focus shifts from the teacher to the students. The role of teacher is to create a safe environment conducive to learning and plan diverse instructional and assessment strategies which reinforce conceptual understanding.

The main premise of constructivist learning is that learners control their learning and reflection is an integral part of learning.

In classrooms students come with a different background and learning styles so to expect them to learn the same thing and at the same pace is not appropriate. We all learn in different ways and one size fits all approach to teaching and learning limits learning.

At RBKIA PYP we strive to develop a safe, positive and inclusive learning environment where students feel motivated to learn and all aspects of learner diversity are understood and welcomed.

The social and emotional elements of learning are prioritized and understood to be the foundation of academic success and personal well-being. Educators collaborate, share best practices, and integrate 21st century skills into classroom practice.