Conceptualization of Learning
Learning is I believe a process of accessing, familiarizing, processing, and synthesizing information and experiences, which can influence future thoughts and actions. The primary participants in this process are the learner, the content of learning, the facilitator, and the environment.
Metaphorically, I see the process of learning as a bridge. As a noun, the word ‘bridge’ stands for the teacher or facilitator who introduces the learner to knowledge.
The two-way Bridge also stands for the act of reflection, which, I think, is crucial to learning. Reflection is traversing between acquired information and experiences, and internal thoughts and reasoning to create deeper understanding and assimilation of knowledge. I believe information reflected upon, is knowledge. Every individual has a unique ability to internalize information and act/react on it and that is the birth of an individual’s identity.
My philosophy of teaching
My educational philosophy is guided by the need to work towards the intellectual, academic, emotional, mental, social and physical well-being of the learner. My teaching philosophy is geared towards trying to create an interest in learning among learners. Learners should get engaged with learning for the sake of the knowledge and not for the grades or incentives. I believe that optimal learning opportunities occur when the learner is relaxed and hence a playful or fun approach to learning can help develop an interest in learning, especially among young learners. A suitable example for this would be a sponge. When a sponge is free of pressure or is not being squeezed, it can accommodate maximum water. Also, I believe learning need not always be a facilitator/teacher driven process. Every individual has the innate ability to gain knowledge through exploration and this process of acquiring knowledge needs to be encouraged. As an educator I think it is important to be cognizant and respectful of the individuality of the learner. It is important to instill perseverance, and work-ethics in learners. For most learners, especially younger ones, a sense of security is an important requisite for learning and I think educators need to be attentive to learners’ emotional needs for better learning.
Goals for students
Through my teaching philosophy I wish to empower learners to be socially well-adjusted individuals who interact with society with confidence and positive self-esteem. The goal of my philosophy of teaching is to shape independent thinkers, with social responsibility and social conscientious and work ethics. I believe teaching philosophies should evolve to keep up with changing situations and hence I believe the need of the hour is to help learners to be creative innovators, social designers, design thinkers, media literate individuals and global citizens.
Implementation of my philosophy
Although I am interested in pursuing art education research, I do not intend to teach; at least not in a conventional classroom environment. I believe education is no longer restricted to classrooms alone but can be accessed on multiple media platforms. The need of the hour for educators today is to be able to create educational content across emerging platforms and cultures to effectively educate. In this context the definition of the ‘teacher’ could potentially change. I position myself as a teacher or an educator who intends to contribute to the process of learning through the means of media and technology.
My philosophy of education is aligned with the Progressive philosophy, which believes in the child-centered approach. As a Progressive educator, I deem it necessary to be conscious of the changes in society, for instance the exponential growth in children’s media consumption and its implications and challenges. Keeping in alignment with my child-centered approach I intend to make use of the already established children-media relationship to create educational content. I believe children can be taught even when they are not aware that they are learning. Learning through play is a concept I am interested in and so I have designed a digital game for children (age 7 years and above). The inspiration for the concept of the game came to me as I reflected that in spite of using the Roman script to conduct all our written communication, most of us are unaware of the evolution of the script. I was fascinated with the idea of teaching children the evolution of the Roman script through a digital game. I designed a digital game that could be played across various digital platforms. While designing the game, I played the role of a researcher, educator and designer. As an educator, I researched the topic and learning outcomes. As a designer I designed the game. When the students play the game, and learn I could be absent from the physical environment and yet be involved in their learning process.
Professional Growth Plans
Mental, emotional and physical well-being of children is the core motivation that guides my philosophy. As I mentioned earlier, I am cognizant of the changes in media and technology. I look at this shift as an opportunity to generate new understanding among educators and researchers. New challenges always open the doors to new solutions. Instead of standing on the banks, I believe in plunging in and engaging with the problem in order to solve it. Hence my short-term goal for the future is to equip myself with knowledge about child development, curriculum, media, and psychology to conduct research on how the changing technology is impacting learning and how as an educator I can work to best utilize media to create optimal learning opportunities.
My long-term plans for the future are to work in an environment where I can apply my theoretical knowledge to practical solutions. For instance I wish to create educational content for various media platforms.
My philosophy of education is being shaped and reshaped everyday. I believe learning is an ever-evolving process. And hence as an educator I believe that my philosophy will perpetually be in a state of evolution-learning, re-learning, unlearning and then again, learning!
To see my philosophy applied in my work, visit my website: asavarithatte.com