My Philosophy of Learning and Approach

These are the principles with which
I nurture the love of learning for learners of all ages,
so everyone can become lifelong learners
and agents of change in their lives and the world.

Learning-Centered Paradigm

Personalized learning centers the learner, not the curriculum. Let’s be the guide on the side and co-create learning paths with the learner, as inquiry-based and facilitated learning is more effective than direct instruction in the long run. To paraphrase Lev Vygotsky, “Be the difference between what the learner can do on their own and what they can do with a bit of facilitation.” 

Curriculum

In its broadest definition, curriculum is everything a child is learning. Let’s choose curricula (aka resources to learn a topic or skill) to meet the needs and interests of the learner and stop insisting learners use a curriculum that isn’t a match.

Learning

It is natural and unfolding all the time. It might not be what we intended at that moment, but it is occurring. To nurture self-directed learning, let’s become observers of the process and expand our notions of what learning looks like.

Talents and Strengths

Learning happens more quickly when we meet learners where they are and use their strengths to build on curiosities, talents, and interests. Let’s focus on strengths (yours and your learner’s), find and adapt strategies to move around the challenges, and remember that The WHY drives our learning and helps us overcome limiting beliefs and fears.

Relationship

Co-regulation and relationship are the cornerstone of creating safety in learning. 

Let’s prioritize relationship over content and connect before we correct. Let’s honor diversity and make it okay to make mistakes, as Jo Boaler reminds us that “our brain is growing when we make mistakes.”

Mindset

Everyone has the capacity to learn when we match learning to the individual, and it is possible to develop a growth mindset. When we hear “I can’t do…,” let’s remember to add “yet.” 

Curiostiy

Good questions are more important than good answers. Learning how to learn is more important than what is learned. Curiosity is the driver of authentic learning, so let’s create learning environments that foster inquiry.

Agency

Learners need agency to own their learning and become lifelong learners. Let’s offer choices whenever possible, be respectful, and let them know when something is non-negotiable.

Resilience

When learners are resilient, it increases their ability to learn and their overall well-being. Let’s provide safety and the just-right challenges that will develop resilience.

Well-being

Well-being is necessary for learning. Let’s be sure to pause and become aware of how full our cup is before responding to a learner, especially if they are feeling frustrated or dysregulated. As the adult, our cup of well-being must be full enough to share our regulated nervous system with a learner. Let’s know what we need to feel resourceful and how to get it when we need it.