UNDERSTANDING THE MODERN LEARNER

Does learning look different inside and outside of schools? It’s a question worth pondering.  

How do I typically learn outside of school?

  • through reading — mostly informative and interesting articles online from my phone/computer for a variety of purposes (anywhere, anytime)
  • by doing (experience) — often through trial and error
  • from others — mostly peers (anyone and everyone) through conversation and listening 

How are many kids asked to learn inside of school?

  • through reading — often times boring and irrelevant texts connected to a specific subject (assigned by a teacher) 
  • by being told — without much critical thinking necessary
  • from a teacher — when the teacher isn’t planning, managing, and/or assessing

Why would we ask students to learn differently from the way they naturally do (outside of school)? This is a concerning current reality of our schools today.

Fortunately, there are educators working to better understand the modern learner. We’re learning how students best learn today, how classrooms can reflect a modern reality, how educators can foster learning environments, and how technology can facilitate learning processes.

The more we understand the modern learner, the more we adapt schools to embrace the modern learner, and the more we make learning look the same inside of school as it does outside of school, the better our schools will be.

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