Learning only happens for me in one manner. Writing. Today, Will Richardson reminded me of that in his The "Future of Education" webinar (http://bit.ly/K2WJp).

Among the numerous topics discussed, was the idea that Educators as Learners are a powerful tool in the classroom. An educator, according to Richardson, is most effective in the classroom when teaching students how to learn, not what to learn. So, first off, the educator himself must be a learner. He pointed to blogging as a process of learning and connecting this learning to communities within social networking sites.

I was excited by Richardson’s reinforcement of what I had been doing for the past month. After being in the home, unemployed, unconnected to the mainstream of education, while I homeschooled my high school child for four years, I had returned to the workplace. I had become an online teacher. The moment I found my fingerpads upon texts related to literature, writing, learning, technology, professional development, or any other subject along those lines, I became overcome by the urge to study.

I wanted to read and write. Then read some more and write some more. I couldn’t get enough. How could I get the information quickly and in mass amounts? I scoured my company’s resource library, I searched the internet, I read books…and eventually ended up at Classroom 2.0.

This is where my thoughts hit the pavement. I consumed information and began writing. Flashbacks of Washington State University's English Department washed across my mind as I remembered concepts like Writing to Know. I wrote and read and wrote and read. As I did so, I created a visual web of knowledge thatI was spreading across my teacher-toolbox like the plague. Then, I took my newly visulized knowledge and posted a link to it on Twitter, where I found even more access to knowledge.

I was reminded of Janet Emig’s landmark article, “Writing as a Mode of Learning,” which stands as foundational text in the Writing to Learn movement. Emig speculated that “writing is neurophysiologically integrative, connective, active, and available for immediate visual review” (Bazerman, et al).

I have been a learner and I have been learning through writing. I am grateful to Will Richardson, today, for reminding me to continue my search for knowledge in the recesses of my own thinking as I apply it to this very paper and connect it to communities of other learners. In this way, I am an English Educator practicing the powerful tool of Writing To Learn.

Views: 83

Comment by A. A. Karim on January 21, 2011 at 10:35pm
I started a personal mission a few years ago to learn more about teaching and about learning. I read, read, read...then slowly started to write about the subject in my website and blog. It's very true that only by writing about what we have read or writing about our experiences (related to teaching/learning) we are able to "crystallize" the idea and making it "crystal clear" to us.
Comment by Rashel Fitchett on January 21, 2011 at 11:10pm
"Crystallize" the idea...I like that visual. How long have you been blogging? Do you have a favorite topic you remember writing about?
Comment by A. A. Karim on January 22, 2011 at 7:39pm
I think I started two or three years ago but now I focused only one blog I started in November last year. It's called One Stop Learning. My favorite topic has always been about teaching, learning and education. I'm also an active researcher in food science. Drop by when you are free...
Comment by Rashel Fitchett on January 24, 2011 at 8:17pm
Thanks for the link! :)


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