Positive Learning Environment

My contribution was related to trust and I find that it is a huge step towards a positive environment. From my point of view, it is the first step that needs to be taken. For this trust to be built, the other factors mentionned in the discussion can help such as classroom etiquette and offering freedom and choices within the curriculum. The former is a way to show the students that we are taking the course seriously and we are expecting respect to be a fundamental rule. The latter is a way to involve the learners in their learning process and respect their needs and expectations.

Teaching learners how to learn is a topic that is totally on my agenda at short term. I do believe that it is a big aspect of the learning environement: learners who know how to learn are mosre susceptible to get along and work towards the same direction all together. This takes me to another important topic that I contributed withtin the discussion: learning communities. Creating a community of learners is not always an easy task especially when the students are very diversified in terms of age, culture, backgroung, etc. It is nevertheless extremely important. I have a challenge right now in one of my courses mainly because the age range that goes from 17 to about 70 years old. Of course taking all the differences into account is important for a positive environment but not always an easy thing to do.

The importance of the physical environment and  the role that music can play in the classroom are two interesting topics that I haven’t consider enough until now; especially music. I want to take the time to think of how to integrate that in my courses (at small dose though).

I have never thought that cell phone could be used in a positive way by learners. I am glad to have learned because it may be very useful for me at the Literacy Center where I want students to feel as comfortable as they would be at home because learning has always been a negative experience for them. For example, I let one of them keep his music on while we are working together (now I realize that do make a place to music in a certain way). I find that allowing them to use their cell phone as a tool to learn is wonderful. It doesn’t mean that they are not some rules to define about it. Being trained as a cognitivist, my perspective as always been Clay Shirky’s one because of the problem of multi tasking.

I have more to say about Thinking “outside of the box” because of an article that I read too late to contribute to the forum discussion. In the part called Taking a chance, the author talks about what Brookfield refered to as “imposter” and here is what she says: “we may not ask questions or provide input that may be outside the what others may be thinkingbecause we do not want others to think that we slid through the system somehow and are notreally supposed to be there in that learning session”. (Creating the Safe Learning Environment)

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