Independent Learner

I have never waited to learn something in the classroom. When I was younger I had a 14 month period where I couldn’t find a job. It was a combination of a poor economy where I lived and my lack of any amount of formal education at the time.

Every day for months I drove to the library in the city, and I read every day. Every topic that caught my eye for hours all week. At first it became way to cope from losing my mind with boredom, then it became an adventure.

When I finally did get to post secondary a few years later I grabbed on to the courses that excited me and I did the extra work to learn even more on my own time. I have been always filling in the gaps. Much of what I know very well has been self-taught.

Dave makes the point of overcoming isolation – being outside the conversation of a particular field. I have felt that way somewhat this week. This is my first CAE course, and most of you have taught a program in the “real world.” Some of the terminology I have been unfamiliar with – but I’ve been making notes. I intend to follow up with more reading later. I imagine most of you would do the same if you came into my office and I started throwing out graphic design and business references.

I do think the Internet has changed things from passive to active learning. “Just Google it!” has become a common phrase. There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing your topic throughly, yet I have been in courses where students are genuinely bewildered when they receive a poor mark. Their excuse is that they couldn’t find any supporting material.

I do think self-assessment is hugely important in all aspects of a person’s life, not just for education purposes. If you don’t take the time to throughly figure out where you are headed it’s impossible to move forward. I have found self-reflection papers an excellent strategy for this, particularly if there are some guiding questions given by the instructor.

As you can probably tell I am still making the mental transition from student thinking to how I would approach these subjects as a teacher.


Leave a Reply