Sometimes the simplest concepts are the hardest to define. This is the case with learning.
So much of education reform uses words that feel understood, but the assumption that we all agree on what they mean is a falsehood.
Even more unfortunate is that the student voices aren't represented while defining these important terms that impact their school experiences and working in that void leaves students disconnected where they need to be most engaged.
So how do students define learning?
Consider the following:
"Learning is a step-by-step process in which an individual receives and undergo unlimited knowledge. A lot of my learning doesn't just occur in class. It happens randomly throughout my life, from new experiences, gaining information and from my perceptions." - Alice, senior at World Journalism Preparatory School
Jordan, senior at World Journalism Preparatory School shares his thoughts on learning on Voxer.
Faith, senior at World Journalism Preparatory School shares her thoughts on learning on Voxer.
"Learning is what helps prepare us for success in life. In school, I don't necessarily think that everything we learn is going to be relevant to our lives, but a lot of it is. The work load also helps us to learn how to manage our time, and helps to teach us how much we can handle. We learn from everything whether we think so or not. Mistakes we make we learn not to do them again, while things that we like we like we learn to try and do more. At the end of the day learning to me is something that can't be avoided and it should be something that people keep an open mind to." - Aja, junior at World Journalism Preparatory School
Zach, senior at World Journalism Preparatory School shares his thoughts on learning on Voxer.
Markella, senior at World Journalism Preparatory School shares her thoughts on leanring on Voxer.
As we consider what kids are saying about learning, we can better address what they feel they need to grow as learners. As we shift our focus as educators to more student-empowered learning environments, we can't ignore the most important stakeholder, the student.
How can we better include students in their own learning? Share your thoughts, better yet, get your students to share theirs.
This post originally ran on my Education Week Teacher blog in December of 2014.