Creating Significant Learning Environments

Creating a significant learning environment (CSLE) where my students can have choice, ownership, and voice through authentic learning opportunities (COVA) has been the guiding principle of my learning this summer. Understanding that our learners need a strong environment that will bring about the best qualities within them is an underappreciated truth of education. We as educators must take a deeper look at our thought process in creating growth environments for our learners. 

From reading “A New Culture of Learning” by Douglas Thomas and John Seely brown (2011), we learned that most learning today is done outside of the classroom. Experiences are the tool for learning that give students new knowledge. Thomas and brown presented 3 unique concepts in changing the way our learners learn for the better. 

  1. The first concept is play, which is defined as the tension between the game’s rules and the freedom to act within them.  
  1. The second concept is that learning must be nurtured in a structured setting.  
  1. the third concept is that there be a large information network (the internet) that provides unrestricted access to information and resources. 

My goal is to embody these three concepts as I began to develop my own significant learning environment for the learners of the future. 

Just as important, I realized that who I am as a learner translates to who I am as a teacher. I can’t Just as important, I realized that who I am as a learner translates to who I am as a teacher. I cannot call myself a lifelong learner if I’m not willing to embrace learning in every aspect. Essentially, having a fixed mindset as opposed to a growth mindset. My learning philosophy. REACH represents not just the message that I give to my students, but it also represents who I am as a person. I am constantly striving to REACH new goals. REACH embodies my belief that authentic learning is capable through mutually desired goals and ideals. 

Understanding my learning philosophy with the desire to create a significant learning environment will enable me to implement my big hairy audacious goal (BHAG), Where Learners will develop a Mobile Application using Apple’s Swift programming development platform using a Project Based Learning and Computational Thinking learning framework. My UBD Template give a better understanding of how my BHAG goals align with my innovation plan.  

Lastly, bringing all this together, philosophy, environment, goals and planning are only parts of a larger equation. My learners must be able to handle failure and success as if they are twins. Failure must be seen as an opportunity to grow. Success must be seen as a chance to become even better. If I do not embody the growth mindset, then my learners will not have a foundation at which to challenge themselves to constantly improve. Ultimately defeating the purpose of education and true authentic learning.

Further information about my E-portfolio initiative can be viewed HERE. 


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