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Success in learning is based on a range of factors associated with stimuli that can affect brain development, perception, persons’ activities, and motivation to learn. As a result, researchers are inclined to state that learning depends on both physiological processes in the brain to make the necessary connections and psychological and environmental factors, including motivation (Fischer 2009; Riley 2016). In this context, it is important to discuss how people can learn best, what approaches can be used to measure learning, what optimal ways for learning and development can be applied, and whether it is possible to change the personal philosophy of development and learning.
One should note that learning is most active in early childhood when specific brain architecture is formed. Connections between neurons are quickly created during this period as the response to different stimuli and actions, but this process does not stop during the life (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University 2018). Therefore, people learn best when they stimulate their brain to build new connections while becoming involved in new thought-provoking activities. It is also possible to refer to the Brain-Targeted Teaching Model that was developed to demonstrate what components of teaching should be used to stimulate the most active and outcome-oriented learning. These components are an emotional climate, an appropriate physical learning environment, learning experience, opportunities for improving skills and application of knowledge, and evaluation based on feedback (Hardiman 2010). If all these components are present in a learning environment, students receive many opportunities to gain knowledge and practice skills most efficiently because of feeling comfortable, being motivated, and understanding the goals for developing.
It is important to measure learning while focusing on changes in acquired skills and possibilities to apply new knowledge. Therefore, educators’ feedback is extremely important to help students to modify their approach to learning concerning assessment results (Hardiman 2010). If learning has a positive impact on individuals’ personal development, study, and social interactions, while being associated with improvements in academic and personal spheres of life, it is possible to speak about positive results of learning. Moreover, referring to the theoretical aspect of learning, one should state that educators’ guidance leads to the development of individuals’ critical thinking skills, and measuring it with the help of different tests, it is possible to demonstrate what results in learning have been achieved (Riley 2016). These aspects are important to support students’ development.
People learn and develop in various ways because of differences in their perceptions of these processes. According to Thomas and Sarnecka (2015), some people are inclined to view their intelligence as stable, and their motivation to learn and develop is low. Furthermore, some persons consider their intelligence as flexible, and they choose to learn actively to develop their abilities and skills (Thomas & Sarnecka 2015). Optimal ways to learn and develop for these individuals will be different because of their motivation. Persons from the first group should be actively motivated by educators to develop and achieve more in their learning. Thus, effective education depends on the choice of external and internal stimuli and rewards to use. Much attention should also be paid to different learning styles used by individuals depending on their brain architecture (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University 2018). Therefore, learning is effective when an individual-based approach is followed to stimulate a persons’ development.
To achieve high results in teaching students, it is necessary to be open to changing not only the philosophy of learning and development but also overall approaches to interacting with students. The reason is that teachers should be viewed as social change agents, and they reflect changes in the world around them, as well as promote them in educational environments (Van der Heijden et al. 2015). Learning and development are beneficial for students when they reflect on the demands of the modern and quickly changing world, and teachers are expected to start with adapting their mindset to all possible alterations in society to guide and assist their students. From this point of view, an educator should be open to changing the philosophy of teaching and learning as well as a result of knowing more and adapting to specific environments and students’ needs and expectations.
An educator’s philosophy of development and learning is based on his or her knowledge regarding physiological and psychological processes that can influence changes in students’ learning, perception, and behaviors. Depending on this knowledge and personal visions and beliefs, an educator chooses methods to help students to learn best, to measure their learning in most socially appropriate terms, and to guarantee the use of the most fitting approaches to education. These choices depend on the knowledge regarding theories of learning and different models to stimulate students’ development with the focus on their individuality. Therefore, educators succeed when they can concentrate on individual motivation, interests, and abilities of their students and adapt their philosophy of learning and development in the context of the ever-changing world.
Strengths and Areas of Challenge or Targeted Areas of Growth
During studies, two areas of challenge and potential growth have been identified. These areas are time management that needs to be improved and academic writing that directly affects grades. Time management is a challenging area because to plan and organize activities for a day, it is necessary not only to refer to schedules and time limits set for completing this or that task but also to focus on determining priorities in these activities (Häfner, Stock & Oberst 2015; Thibodeaux et al. 2017). For example, not all planned events or tasks have the same priority for a student depending on the expected positive outcome or possible negative consequences. When setting more than eight priorities to complete for a day, a student can feel exhausted if they are inappropriate, and actual results can be unpredictable if he or she chooses not to attend a lecture for completing some other tasks.
Academic writing is another area for improvement because all papers should be written according to certain principles and style requirements. When these principles are not followed, grades for completing tasks become lower (Morton, Storch & Thompson 2015; Yang 2016). For instance, a student’s knowledge regarding the topic cannot be assessed appropriately if his or her ideas are presented in a poorly organized paper with stylistic mistakes that prevent a tutor from understanding the key ideas or main arguments. Therefore, skills in academic writing need to be developed to present ideas, arguments, and answers to questions in the most professional manner.
Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University 2018, Brain architecture, Web.
Fischer, KW 2009, ‘Mind, brain, and education: building a scientific groundwork for learning and teaching’, Mind, Brain & Education, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 3-16.
Häfner, A, Stock, A & Oberst, V 2015, ‘Decreasing students’ stress through time management training: an intervention study’, European Journal of Psychology of Education, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 81-94.
Hardiman, M 2010, The brain targeted teaching model, Web.
Morton, J, Storch, N & Thompson, C 2015, ‘What our students tell us: perceptions of three multilingual students on their academic writing in first year’, Journal of Second Language Writing, vol. 30, pp. 1-13.
Riley, B 2016, ‘The value of knowing how students learn’, Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 97, no. 7, pp. 35-38.
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Thibodeaux, J, Deutsch, A, Kitsantas, A & Winsler, A 2017, ‘First-year college students’ time use: relations with self-regulation and GPA’, Journal of Advanced Academics, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 5-27.
Thomas, AJ & Sarnecka, BW 2015, ‘Exploring the relation between people’s theories of intelligence and beliefs about brain development’, Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 6, pp. 1-12. Web.
Van der Heijden, HRMA, Geldens, JJM, Beijaard, D & Popeijus, HL 2015, ‘Characteristics of teachers as change agents’, Teachers and Teaching, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 681-699.
Yang, YF 2016, ‘Transforming and constructing academic knowledge through online peer feedback in summary writing’, Computer Assisted Language Learning, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 683-702.