When I think of successful, these questions come to mind:
1.What constitute a successful learning?
2.What is successful learning?
3.How can I continue learning?
4.How can successful learning help me succeed as a person?
As learners, we need motivation, clear instruction, feedback on how to improve and we are given opportunities to perform. Successful learning experience adds value to the learner. The value becomes part of a long-term learning. As a future teacher, I need to help my students understand something that they couldn’t before and make sure that learning is purposeful and put the needs of my learners first.
One thing that strikes me is the HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills). It was my first time to see the term HOTS in my son’s Math activities and I didn’t know anything about it at all. Brookhart (as cited by Collins,2014) defines higher-order thinking into three categories: (1) those that define higher-order thinking in terms of transfer, (2) those that define it in terms of critical thinking, and (3) those that define it in terms of problem solving. Teachers should be able to tell students what they are doing and to explain why they need higher-order skills which are vital in solving problems at school and in life. It is important for teachers to be able to plan meticulously and make students aware of the key concepts. Scaffolding is teachers’ responsibility to be able to support students at the beginning of a lesson and then gradually turning over responsibility to them to work on their own. Teachers can give variety of examples but they have to check the students’ understanding first before giving additional examples. Visual and concrete examples through drawings, graphs or tables are good ways to demonstrate examples. Like most of the teachers I had, examples were clearly given so learning was more effective and students can formulate questions and active actively. Some teachers talk most of the time without any visual representations make learning and listening challenging and let’s say, boring. Teachers can assess the effect of higher-order thinking skills of their students based on how they perform, construct meaning and incorporate new content. It sounds a successful learning for me if I was the teacher.
Another crucial aspect of successful learning is the motivation. Motivation is defined by Schunk (2012) as “the process of instigating and sustaining goal-directed behavior” (p.346) which is more of cognitive and there are other perspectives about motivation like behavioral, humanistic and social .As for me, I believe that extrinsic motivations (behavioral) contributed a lot in my motivation to study. Intrinsic motivation (social learning theory) is also an integral part. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations work together to keep me motivated. Bonus points were not used when I was in the elementary but bonus points system was heavily utilized when I was in college. Being regarded as the highest scorer or having the perfect score was the usual extrinsic motivator when I was in elementary. To finish top 1 in the honor roll was probably the best motivator. It was a joyful moment when you receive a lot of medals even though most of them had the politician names. In High school, it was more competitive and extra points were rewarded when students passed earlier than the deadline or when they were attentive and more active. My motivation to study remained the same even though I didn’t finish number 1. My goal was to remain in the top 10.Then in college, many things changed. The environment was much different and honestly, I felt intimidated. The classroom itself was completely diverse. Students came from different areas around the Philippines, social statuses and backgrounds were different and some of my classmates were much older and were in the higher year level. These factors were somewhat shocking when I attended my first semester as a college student. But I was not discouraged but got more motivated. I did my best to pass all my subjects but I had so many realizations when I entered college in terms of motivation and learning. For example, successful learning is not just getting high grades but being able to expand my knowledge, gain life changing experiences and to develop myself. Also, motivation in studying takes a lot of challenges and struggles. I mentioned that bonus points were usually given when I was in college. It was either we can pass earlier (to lessen late submissions) or answer bonus questions. These were much helpful in increasing our grades as well as making us more responsible with our requirements and avoid cramming. Staying motivated is due to bigger reasons/ultimate goals that every person/student has. Some reasons could be to be able finish college and wear that precious sablay/toga, work in a lucrative position, make their parents proud, to be able to help the community, to be able to live independently, etc. We are driven because of our ultimate goals.
Collins, R. (2014) Skills for the 21st Century: teaching higher-order thinking.Curriculum Leadership Journal. Retrieved June 19,2017 from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/leader/teaching_higher_order_thinking,37431.html?issueID=12910
Schunk, D. H., & Zimmerman, B. J. (Eds.). (2012). Motivation and self-regulated learning: Theory, research, and applications. Routledge.