Learning theories, learning theories. Many many learning theories. I think it’s a good thing.

Going through my readings, I have come across an introduction to Project Based Learning, an approach we did not touch in my undergraduate degree.  I’m a little surprised, as many of my lecturers said CONSTRUCTIVIST LEARNING IS THE ONLY WAY STUDENTS WILL LEARN, and PBL is a form of constructivist learning.  In my science workshops in particular, we only looked at Inquiry Based Learning.  In fact, one of my assignments was basically “This is how IBL is the best way to teach in the whole world and nobody should try anything else. Ever.” It was very interesting to read the ASLA statement on Resource Based Learning, as I personally only ever heard it mentioned twice in the four years I spent at uni, and only ever as something we needn’t ever bother look up because it is complete rubbish.

I’m grateful for a unit I took in second year, which was an overview of curriculum and pedagogy.  We were introduced very briefly to various learning theories (although, now I see it was lacking somewhat) and an overview of Outcomes Based Education.  I have to say one of my favourite quotes ever, and the cornerstone of my teaching philosophy, is something by William Spady (the founder of OBE). It is something to the effect of “All children can learn, but at different times and in different ways”.

I believe that all learning styles are good when used with the right children in the right learning context at the right time.  I think this is a skill that I would love to develop.  Rather than take hold of one learning style and using it until it’s old and outdated, I’d like to be able to use each one well, in order to help students reach their learning outcomes.