My Philosophy of Learning

Personally, I’m not sure if there is such a thing as one single philosophy of learning. Each of us is unique to themselves based on their upbringing and culture they grew up immersed in. Just as Wheatly says in Willingness to be Disturbed “We do need to acknowledge that their way of interpreting the world might be essential to our survival” (1). Applying Wheatly’s philosophy to our lives could allow us to become more open to possibilities that could ultimately help us grow and strengthen our education system. Learning isn’t just copying information onto a piece of paper or being able to list every president in order. Learning is the ability to grow, share, and explore life’s possibilities through education and new knowledge. I’ve found that I thrive when I’m asked to take a real-world situation and examine it, then after I’ve done with the tasks to then describe how this is important to all people. To me, learning is the action of solving tasks to get to a better solution than beforehand. As McCall argues in What if we Radically Re-Imagined the School Year, “What if we recognized that life and our day to day circumstances and our response to them is curricula” (1)

As an education system, we overlook significant events because they don’t apply to the “curriculum” or “lesson plan”. Current events might be the most important part of a learning system because by examining and studying current events, we can gain a deeper understanding of what happened and how we can prevent it based on study and comprehension of events. In school today, we need to study issues today so we can prepare and solve them for the future. Based on this, I define learning as the growth of knowledge within a person. This can’t be measured with a test or yardstick, it’s a personal determination. 

In many interviews conducted with Ivy League students, researchers found that students were miserable and found that good grades didn’t even satisfy the students. This is just one example of how modern-day curriculum has tainted what we define as success and growth. Nowadays, success is being able to conform to the curriculum, and the reward for such behaviors is high marks on assignments. Altering the common standards to make it so the success and growth are a mark of achievement can lead to overall higher levels of happiness within learners. When someone is happy or has previously found success with something, they are much more likely to repeat the action for the desire to repeat such a feeling of delight. Furthermore, this change is necessary as “boredom is a disease of epidemic proportions” (Wolk 649). Fixing learning to cater to all will influence the learning environment to become more friendly and exciting to future learners. Overall, if we create the expectation that a learning environment is a place for growth and success, we can change the future and teach young children how to be successful on their own terms. 

Published by Hayden Gansberg

Hi, I'm Hayden! I'm a senior in high school at Glenbrook North. I run cross country and track and my favorite event is the 2 mile. At home, I have a mom, dad, sister, and 2 dogs. During my free time you will find me walking my dogs, Shale and Ashby, or exploring nature and taking pictures of various settings. Throughout my CST class this year, I hope to learn how I can become an active voice for issues I might not have been previously aware of.

2 thoughts on “My Philosophy of Learning

  1. I really hear your voice, Hayden. What are some ways to fix learning to cater for all? You wrote, “learning is the action of solving tasks to get to a better solution than beforehand”, how do you think we can learn this in school? When you write , “We overlook significant events because they don’t apply to the “curriculum” or “lesson plan”, do you also think its important for students to have some choice in school whether its taking certain classes of interests or having a curriculum that is shaped around them?


  2. I agree that teaching more current events would be a good idea, because it is always good to know what is going on in the world, and it can help for people to not let bad parts of history repeat themselves. However, I also think that current events are too dynamic to center a curriculum on. While going over current events is helpful, building a curriculum around them may be too difficult, since current events are constantly changing.


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