This week, I got the opportunity to learn about passion-based learning, and I am really excited about what I have read. I started with an article called “Nine Tenets of Passion-Based Learning”, and it was probably one of my favorite articles that I have read about this topic. I read that although we strive to teach students who are passionate and engaged in what they are learning, we actually reward students who are the opposite. Because education is so standards-driven these days, students are expected to focus on standardized tests, getting perfect grades, and out-shining other students. When all that students are focused on is getting that 4.0, they are not going to even care about the information that they are learning, and I think that means the information will leave them as soon as they finish regurgitating it for their exam.
The second article that I read was My Journey Teaching Through Passion-Based Learning by Nigel Coutts. This was more interesting to me because it offered the idea of doing a Personal Passion Project, which is similar to our Independent Learning Project, which has been a blast so far this semester. I have loved getting to learn about something that truly interests me. I never realized how different learning could be when it is something that is meaningful to the student, which is why I am so interested in doing projects like this in my future classroom. If we want to create passion-based learners, we need to try and make their education matter to them, and allowing them to choose a project that interests them is going to motivate them to really dive into their learning, which means that they will most likely put more effort into it than they do with things that they are uninterested in, such as research papers (for me, at least).
Finally, the last article that I read was called 3 Questions to Drive Passion Based Learning. George Couros discusses that there are three questions that can guide teachers and students through a passion-based learning experience. The questions are: 1. What will I learn? 2. What will I solve? 3. What will I create? These questions are designed to push students outside of their comfort zones. We, as students, are used to going to class, listening to a lecture, memorizing information, taking a test, and then going back to class the next day and starting the cycle over again. By giving students the opportunities to create their own learning experiences, search for topics that they are interested in, and find and solve their own problems, they are going to be much more inclined to enjoy and participate fully in their education.
As a final thought, I think that passion-based learning is something that is going to get bigger and bigger in today’s educational world, and I cannot wait to implement the new ideas that I have learned in my classroom. Engaging students in learning that excites them is going to be my goal as a teacher, and I think that it will help to guide my students into being passionate learners.
(Photo cc by Shaun Wood)
Thank you for reading!