The principal elements that make teaching and learning possible and attainable are the teachers, the learners, and a conducive learning environment. Without one there could be no teaching, nor will there be learning of a desired objective. Only when a positive relationship exists among them can teaching and learning occur with precision and predictability.
The teacher serves as the prime mover of the educational wheel while the learners are the key participants in the learning process. The favorable environment provides essential features and ingredients that could make a headway in guiding the processes and methodologies needed for a smooth linkage among the three. How does each element contribute to learning?
The Nature of the Learner
The learner is an embodied spirit. He is a union of a sentient body and a rational soul. His body experiences sensations and feels pleasure and pain. His soul is the principle of spiritual acts, the source of intellectual abstraction, self-reflection, and free rational volition. Body and soul exist in mutual dependence. (Kelly, 1965) As teachers then, let us care for the embodied spirit-learner. Let us feed his/her body as well as his/her spirit. “Man does not leave by bread alone.”
The Fundamental Equipment of the Learner
The learner is equipped with cognitive as well as appetitive faculties. His/her cognitive faculties include his/her five senses, instinct, imagination, memory, and intellect. By his/her senses, the learner is able to see, hear, feel, taste -and smell whatever is to be learned. By the his/her of imagination, the learner is able to form representations of material objects which are not actually present to the senses. By his/her power of memory he is able to retain, recall and recognize past mental acts. By his/her intellect, s/he can form concepts or ideas, makes judgment, and reason out. His/her appetitive faculties are his/her feelings and emotions and rational will. By his/her feelings and emotions, s/he experiences the pleasantness or unplea-santness, the satisfactoriness or unsatisfactoriness, the pain any the joy of an object or an activity. His/her will serves as guidance for and the main integrating force in the learner’s character. By his her will, the learner wills what his/her intellect presents as good desirable.
For effective and efficient learning, the live senses must function normally. The learner becomes aware of hisfher objective world through his/her senses. What is the contribution of the senses to learning?
All learners are equipped with the cognitive and appetitive faculties. They differ however in the degree to which they are utilized and expressed on account of the learners’ abilities, aptitudes, interests, values and attitudes and home background. Let us take a look once more at the learner from this point of view of these five distinguishing elements.
The students’ native ability dictates the prospects of success in any purposeful activity. It determines their capacity to understand and assimilate information for their own use and application. As learners they differ in the way they observe and interpret happenings in their surroundings. Some are more perceptive and discerning while others are less inquisitive. With such typical reactions and facilit) to learn, they may. be classified generally into fast, average and slow learners. Others are labeled high, moderate and slow achievers. Hence, their proficiency in searching for more knowledge and the motivation in performance skills are contingent on their endowed potential to learn.
As to their mental ability, students can he categorized into superior, above average and below average. A wide range in their intelligence is a factor to consider in planning instruction.
Aptitude refers to the students’ innate talent or gift. It indicates a natural capacity to learn certain skills. Some may exhibit special inclination for the arts such as painting and designing crafts, propensity for music and flair for dramatics. Talent for mathematics or literature is likewise noticed among a few.
An early recognition of said natural adeptness among students is indeed compelling so as not to waste such inborn learning. Provisions of a formative environment will be of great help in enabling them to flourish and grow.
Learners vary in activities that arc undertaken due to strong appeal or attraction. A physically go for athletics, while an artistic and stylish student would pursue hobbies that are fascinating, Girls are, strongly attracted to flowering plants and greeneries and their preoccupations revolve around them. Boys go for hiking and mountain climbing.
Lessons that give them the chance to express their deep feelings for objects or actions will be more meaningful and easily absorbed. A classroom set-up could offer centers of interest that make their stay pleasant and enjoyable. Interest clubs organized by different disciplines serve as outlet of special interests shared by the members.
4. Family & Cultural Background
Students who come from different socioeconomic background manifest a wide range of behavior due to differences in upbringing practices. Some families allow their members to express their preferences regarding self-discipline while others are left to passively follow home regulations. Their participation classroom activities are influenced by their home training and experiences, either they become attuned and confident in their ways or inactive and apathetic.
Beneficial relationships of learners with their mentors and with one another affirm the kind of bond they enjoy at home. Cooperation, coupled with a willingness to share, is instilled and is carried over to all associations they join. The tendency to readily affiliate with a group is most welcomed in a classroom setting where teamwork achieves desired lesson objectives.
Students have a unique way of thinking and reacting. Confronted with the same situation in the learning environment each one would react differently depending on their personal characteristics. Attitude refers to an individual’s perspective and disposition.
Some positive attitudes are:
Curious students are at all times eager to learn. They are anxious to know more about an object or event by endlessly questioning until they get the right information. Children’s attitudes could be positive or negative to a given stimulus, hence, different interpretations and responses. Inquisitive learners will keep searching for answers or evidence rather than remain inattentive and disinterested in what is happening in the learning environment. They observe keenly and use their senses intelligently.
Responsible students pursue assigned task to completion despite personal constraints. They are accountable for their actions and decisions. They are answereable for their conduct in the classroom. They can be depended upon for learning tasks, which are accomplished in an orderly and systematic manner. As such, they assume duties, and obligations voluntarily. Responsible students can easily instill the same trusthworthy attitude among themselves.
Students with creative minds are capable of generating own ideas of doing things.
Being imaginative they can think of new ways of arriving at solutions to their problems. They can innovate procedures and techniques instead of sticking to antiquated and traditional methodologies. Learning is achieved through their own inventions and novel revisions,.thus producing new and improved products.
Persistent students sustain interest in a learning acti-vity not mindful of the extra time and effort being spent. They pursue the task to completion and never give up when confronted with problems. They develop the attitude of trying alternative procedures until they obtain satisfac-tory results. They are driven by a never-ending search for more knowledge and information.
These five elements make learners different from one another. The differences among learners become more accentuated,with the integration of children with special needs and children from the indigenous peoples (IP) group in the classroom.