After reading over the three different types of learning styles there are, I believe I lean more towards non-formal learning as a teacher.
Non-formal learning is aimed at facilitating selected types of learning on the part of the particular sub-groups of a population (Schwier, 2010). Typically these environments are characterized by the following:
- learning that is intentional, not casual or serendipitous.
- the presence of an instructor or facilitator who organizes learning events and activities
- learner control of the objectives of learning; personal intentions outweigh externally defined intentions
- learner control of the level of participation in learning activities and events. (Schwier, 2010)
In the classroom, I make certain that the learning of the students is intentional. The students are always presented with a theme, a set of objectives within said theme, and activities that will meet those objectives and the assessments.
I love to view myself as a facilitator in the classroom. I create and organize the actitivities, allow the students to learn by doing, and then I am there to assist them in the process. Moreover, the personal intentions of the students outweigh the externally defined intentions. I am the creator of all my curriculum. Thus, I make sure I tailor it to my students and their needs.
In my class, the students have some control in the level of participation in learning activities and events. I do my best to make the activities intuitive as possible so that the they will be more inclined to participate. Nevertheless, there is some expectation for them to participate especially if they’ve had time to prepare responses.
As an instructor, I try to make learning flexible, social, individual, and purposed just the way non-formal learning is (Klandorf, 2013). I really like the idea of being considered as a connector first and an expert second (Schwier, 2010). Moreover, I want my students to be ACTIVE not PASSIVE in their learning experience.
Class Question (s): As educators or future educators, what do you all think of a student-centered, learner-driven environment? How much control should teachers have over students’ overall learning process?
YouTube Video: Karl Lall: Nonformal learning. Student sense of learning and learning environment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFd4iQ6URbo
Guest, I, (2012, June 4). Learning. Flickr. [Picture] Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/ianinsheffield/7338094308
Klandorf, K (2013, December 18). About nonformal learning. [Youtube Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq0c43fUab4
Lall, K. (2014, December 15). Nonformal learning, student sense of learning and learning environment. Speaksmart. [YouTube Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFd4iQ6URbo
Schwier, R. A. (2010). Focusing educational technology research on informal learning environments. Contemporary Educational Technology, 1(1), 90-92.