Theories can explain or predict various events or situations by giving us a guideline or a virtual grid where we filter events through to make sense of them, and allow us to get the best meaning from them.
This reminds me of two approaches in phenomenology–the descriptive and interpretive phenomenology. Both can be useful. In descriptive phenomenology, we simply describe different events separately as they are. However, in interpretive phenomenology, we may sew through those events to see whether or not there is a correlation or perhaps even a causation among them (Dela Cruz, Fadrigon, & Mendoza, 2016). How to know whether we should use one or the other may depend on our goal or what we are trying to discover or prove.
In terms of learning, I can see from the collective events of my life that I usually learn when I am interested about the subject or that there are clearer explanations that have been given to me by my teacher or another source regarding the topic. Sometimes, I can see that I learn better in a certain area because I have and can afford the resources and even the circumstances for me to grasp the essence of a subject. I recall that when I was in college, there were subjects that were hard for me to excel because I do not have the book, software, people, connections, and experiences that my other classmates have, which is why they learn from it better than me.
We may know that a person has successfully learned something if we have a definition and measurement of the learning that we wish to achieve. However, I believe we cannot always have control over whether or not the person would remember the information taught to him or maintain the skill that he developed. But if we have defined what we are looking for and provided appropriate measurements, I believe we can better evaluate and infer whether or not a person has successfully learned.
Regarding if I could suggest a fairer definition of learning and academic achievement, I want to honestly say no. Simply reading through the learning materials in Module 1 of this subject makes me ask more questions and reflect some more about these two concepts.
“I teach, I help shape history.” That’s the brief statement I could make right now in terms of my thoughts on the positive aspects of teaching. My inspiration for that statement is the example of Socrates. This philosopher has influenced the attitudes of several young people that approached him to learn. He has influenced the mindsets of these youths and thus helped shape the culture of the next generation, which may have explained the eventual acceptance of his thoughts to Plato, Aristotle, and then Alexander the Great. Until today, even religious and political worldviews have been influenced by those names mentioned. This is because there was a teacher who was willing to make necessary sacrifices in order to open the minds people through dialogues and discussions.
I want to become a teacher who is also a transformational leader. I do not want our topics to be concepts that are like “disembodied spirits” floating around the metaphysical realm, puzzled on how they can affect or when they could be used for a noble purpose in the realm of mortals. I wish that those lessons shall be put to use help heal, transform, and improve society. How would this happen? This would certainly require connecting to the hearts of my students, spending extra time with them, knowing who they are even in the brief time we may have together, and being updated along the paths of life as to their progress. Perhaps, I could also help direct them in their professional career if History allows it. I want to be like an older brother to them.
My strength is that I have been a reader and sort of practitioner. The subjects I have been teaching are related to the social sciences. I have experiences dealing, knowing, meeting, and interviewing different kinds of people from the various walks of life. Although my experiences may be few as of now compared to the veteran educators that we read in history books, I believe I can share some tidbits of insights to them that may bring them up to at least one level.
My potential weakness is perhaps my short time to spend with them. I am usually busy, going around doing stuffs. Aside from being a teacher, I have dreams of my own and for others that I would like to achieve. I may forget their names, faces, or their previous stories told to me. More so, I am at a point that I wish to be stronger, healthier, and to get rid of the health issues I have now. If I can’t overcome these on my own, I am asking God to help me even if others do not believe in Him.
I anticipate that this subject would actually require time for me. This may be another reason why I would spend lesser time with my students than the time I wish to spend with them. But I also envision that my attitude toward this subject would improve and that it may be easier for me to navigate and finish my requirements here. I hope so. I pray so.
I wish to investigate further on how to connect to student’s hearts and inspire them to study better or at least be more disciplined and treat our subjects with respect. I understand that most of us engage in subjects that we are interested in or when we see how we can use it in real life, or if at least the class atmosphere is more conducive to learning.
I do not yet know how to state my hypothesis. Moreover, what I wrote in VIII of this blog may still be prone to change.
I do not know yet exactly which research methods I would use. But, perhaps, I would be using a mixed method.
Dela Cruz, R.D., Fadrigon, C.C., Mendoza, D.L. 2016. Disciplines and Ideas in the Social Sciences. Quezon City, Metro Manila: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc.