When you hear of passion-based learning, what do you think of? I thought of our Independent Learning Projects. I always find it interesting when teachers allow us to pick the articles we get to read and respond to because it allows us to read something that interests us. Yes, we were required to read articles from the list provided, but beyond that, we chose.
The first article that caught my eye was 21st Century Educating, Part 1: Passion. This article described how passion fits into the classroom, which isn’t as emphasized as it could be. It described how the more passionate the teachers are about educating students and the subject matter, the more excited and eager the students will be to learn. And when students are engaged in their learning they will get more out of the lesson. By focusing on things that students are passionate about, the students will be more invested in their education. The article also discusses passion-based learning and innovation. “Passion drives us to take appropriate risks. It leads to innovation.” When you are passionate about what you are doing or learning, you can create new ideas and inventions. This article gave the example of wingsuit base jumping. It is where people wear these suits that kind of have wings and jump off cliffs and soar to the bottom. It would take a lot of courage to jump off a cliff like they were doing. They seemed fearless, but they were near experts. The jumpers got bored of just jumping off and flying away from the cliff side, so they started “playing around.” They experimented with gliding closer to the cliff side until they were nearly touching the side. This metaphorically shows what sometimes happens in education. Children get bored and start messing around. The article comments that education might be safe, but boring and un-engaging. This is because the passion has plateaued.
The second article that I chose to read was 25 Ways to Institute Passion-Based Learning in the Classroom. It gave some great examples and ways to add passion-based learning to your classroom. Right off the bat, the article has a quote from W. B. Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.” That is a fantastic way of looking at education! Some of the ways to institute passion-based learning from this article were sharing your passions with the students, in and outside the class. Connecting students’ passions with others that shared their passion and connecting their passion to lessons in school and to real-life scenarios. The article also said to value all passions equally, which is something that should always happen. It also suggested to let the students take control sometimes. I think that is a great way to approach it. Encourage students to take the lead in their education.