The Giving and Receiving of Knowledge

At the core of teaching is the learner. Teaching is providing the environment and tools needed for someone to learn something through the attainment of knowledge. Attaining knowledge involves inquiry by way of problem-solving, critical thinking, and meaning-making.

Teaching learners involves an active agent, or cause, to allow learning to happen. That cause can be a teacher, a book, a video, an experience, or other agents that provide the circumstances for learning. Often, learning occurs with a teacher. The teacher is the guide or facilitator of the learning process. However, they are not the center of this relationship. The learner is.

To teach is the “cause to know something or know how to do something”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary


The Understanding and Application of Knowledge

Learning is a personal experience. Each learner is different and has a unique set of knowledge, experiences, and understanding. Learning should focus on how no one individual learns the exact same way. Learning is also about risk-taking through trial and error by building off what the learner already knows and can do and not solely relying on what they inherently bring to the learning process.

Learning is making meaning of new or expanded knowledge through acquisition and curiosity. Learners connect content and skills to what they already know and the world around them. It is seeing how different pieces of knowledge, experience, and understanding fit together to make new meaning and application.

Learning needs a responsive and flexible environment to allow learners to inquire and problem solve. A variety of resources, strategies, and tools allow learners to navigate this environment and make meaning of what they interact with through the inquiry, attainment, and application of knowledge.

To learn is “to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Teaching & Learning

The Meaning Making of Knowledge

I believe there are five essential elements at the core of teaching and learning:

Learners come first. The teacher is the facilitator and guide.

Learners are the drivers of their learning. Teachers provide the space for new knowledge and growth.

Learners will fail, from time to time, through trial and error. New knowledge and growth cannot occur without stumbling.

Learners deserve a supportive and encouraging environment.

Every learner and teacher is different. Honor that unique diversity for individual and collective success and growth.

As a teacher and lifelong student, I have learned that there are enduring core concepts, ideas, and skills that all learners need for successful learning, no matter the subject area or grade level.

By modeling, practicing, and creating ways for students to be better students and better learners, they can attain, apply, and understand knowledge. Resources, strategies, and tools in reading and research (text, visual, oral), communication (writing and telling), and application (creating, modifying, and replicating) provide learners the ability to learn and make meaning of the knowledge that comes out of that learning.

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