LEARNING

This is the core focus of what a school is about.
For New Zealand schools now it actually goes a step deeper, for our national vision is todevelop students who will be 'confident, connected, actively involved, and life-long learners' (NZ Curriculum P8). This means that our core job is not the transmission of knowledge, but the empowerment and development of people who can learn. New Zealand schools are about developing and empowering learners.

If we are going to do this well every teacher needs to have a clear understanding of what learning is, and if a school is going to seriously focus on developing learners than it makes sense that, not only does each teacher have their own understanding of what learning is, but there is also a corporately held understanding of what learning is.

Definitions of learning abound, many variations can be found on the internet and in all sorts of professional reading.

For myself personally, I currently believe that 'learning is change'.
Perhaps that seems too simple. Let me clarify it a bit further:
worldview_3.jpg
Each of us has a world view. This is how we see pourselves and the world around us. Our world view is made up from our understanding, knowledge, experiences, culture and language. Our world view drives many aspects of what makes us individuals and also operates as a filter in terms of how we see and react to things we experience.
Our world view is what leads us to form our beliefs and opinions.
Beliefs are deeply held convictions.
Opinions are lightly held beliefs.
Our beliefs and opinions drive what we value. NB that I refer to value rather than 'values', and I do so because of the confusion existing in many schools around the concept of values. I value certain concepts, people, relationships, attitudes, skills, behaviours, attributes, and objects in varying degrees of importance based on my beliefs, opinions and world view.
What I value leads me to choose and adopt particular attitudes as I face different situations and experiences. An attitude is a choosable stae of mind.
My attitude then, at any given moment, is the major driver of my behaviour. my chosen attitude governs my behaviour.
skills are behaviourl in nature so the growt and development of any skill is impacted by my World view (experiences, knowledge, understanding), beliefs and opinions, values, attitudes and behaviour over time.

So what does all this have to do with defining learning?
Everything, because....
- if my world view (culture, language, understanding, knowledge) changes in some way that is learning
- if my beliefs or opinions change in some way that is learning
- if what I value in some way changes than that is learning
- if my attitudes change than that is learning
- if my behaviour or skills change in some way that is learning
This leads me to the broader definition that 'learning is when one or more of my world view, beliefs, opinions, values, attitudes, behaviours or sklills change in some way'.
To make this more concise... 'learning is change' and if it is effective learning than that change is lasting and transferable.

What is learning to you?
How do you define learning?
How does your school define learning?
How does your personal definition co-relate to the school definition?
How does your school definition corelate to the views of the parents of students at your school?
Having defined what learning is, what is a learner?