In order to truly teach our students, we must first inspire them to want to learn. To do this, we have to share our passions and inspirations with our students in the hopes that it will ignite the same passion in them. If you aren’t passionate about what you are teaching, your students won’t be passionate about learning it. Passion-Based Learning has proved to be a very effective way of creating learning and retention within students.
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According to George Couros there is a distinct difference between teaching students to memorize information and teaching students to become learners. Our goal as teachers shouldn’t be for students to simply pass a test. We want students to be passionate about the information that they are learning so that they are interested in pursuing more on their own. Couros provided a variety of examples in which learning and school become diverse. My favorite of these was, “School promotes starting by looking for answers. Learning promotes starting with questions.” When we are teaching, we don’t want our students to simply take our words with a grain assault. No, we want our words and lessons to spark interest and curiosity within our students. This curiosity will lead to more questions which in turn leads to more learning.
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Think about something that you are passionate about. Why are you passionate about this? For me, I am passionate about reading. When I reflect upon what first made me passionate about reading, I come to the realization that my parents instilled my love of reading in me. From a young age, I was constantly seeing my parents with books in their hands. Watching them read fascinated me. The reactions that the books invoked ranged from elation to anger to sadness and back again. Hearing them talk about literature in their excited way made me want to see what all the hype was about. Similarly, when a teacher is clearly passionate about what they are teaching, students are naturally going to be intrigued and engaged. One of the articles I read, “Passion-Based Learning” by Ainissa Ramirez discussed that this is increasingly important in areas such as STEM because there are so many students who are turned off of these subjects by instructors who fail to help their students be passionate.
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It is clear to see that Passion-Based Learning is very prominent and important within the classroom, but how can a teacher incorporate it within the classroom? Saga Briggs suggests 25 different ways to do so in her article “25 Ways to Institute Passion-Based Learning in the Classroom”, linked below. I found this article really useful. Although I agreed that Passion-Based Learning is clearly beneficial within the classroom, I was struggling to imagine how to effectively integrate it into the classroom. This article really helped me to see the big picture of HOW Passion-Based Learning works rather than just what it is.