Passion Pays Off

Throughout the articles that I read for this blog post, there was a recurring theme that popped up.  This recurring theme is that learning needs to be based on passion.  Passion fosters engagement, community, and enrichment of both the students and the school.

To my mind, this need for passion is incredibly clear.  In school, we hear all the time about “self-made men” such as Benjamin Franklin, but we fail to discuss how he only became a self-made man because of his passion.  Today’s school system and society tends to oppress passion and creativity.  Previously in this class we discussed the importance of creativity, but it is also important to note that creativity and passion go hand in hand.  This then ties into the discussion about hackschooling.  If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing then you’re not going to want to find ways to do it better.  Therefore, we can conclude that the best learning is done when creativity and passion are not only recognized but celebrated.

In the Couros article he asks the question, “…[W]hat if you combined the statements [about school vs. learning] to make something new?”  This would lead to more student-directed learning and emphasize the whole guide-on-the-side style of teaching that we have started to see in the modern classroom.  We, as educators, would then create innovators rather than workers and leaders rather than followers.  Is that not what we want for the future?  We want strong, passionate individuals to guide the world to a better tomorrow.  When we “[i]ndoctrinate passion into the system” as suggested by the Barseghian article, then that innovation and leadership will come naturally and cease being a rare occurrence.  When that occurs, it will in turn spur individuals to become even better so society will continue to improve even further.  Oddly enough, I had the thought that if this had been done we might have managed to create the futuristic vehicles and inventions we see in television and movies.

My favorite point, by far, came from the Briggs article that tells us that a way to institute passion-based learning in the classroom is to “[d]ivorce practicality from the picture”.  Children and students are not naturally inclined to mindlessly follow directions, but rather are more apt to creating new and exciting ways to find solutions to problems and answers to questions.  However, somewhere along the way this skill is lost.  In my opinion, this mostly starts happening when we tell students to focus on job security, salary, and benefits rather than fun, freedom, and opportunity for greatness.  Essentially, this is telling them that their wants should be ignored in favor of what we think they need, but there is a point to be made that they wouldn’t need such things if we didn’t force them to need them.

As such, I will continue to do research into passion-based learning so that I can better implement these tenets and goals into my future classroom.  As W.B. Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.

fire
Retrieved from Flickr.com: CC by nrg_crisis
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