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How the Environment Affects Learning

By rlyman Feb 05, 2012 1245 Words
How the Environment Affects Learning

Rick Lyman

David C. Nelson, PhD

Adult Learning Theory– EDU 500


How the Environment Affects Learning
This paper will discuss how our environment affects learning. I will discuss how important the environment is in the early years of one’s life in early childhood development. I will also discuss how one’s interest in learning plays a vital role in learning. I will also discuss how active learning and development plays an integral role in those years between teenager and adult, as well as what influences that has on being successful in life. I will also examine the two learning environments, home and school, and how each are changing, as well as how these two environments will play significant roles as each student discovers what’s real and what’s not real and how each help the learning process. Lastly, I will consider how the learning environment is continuing to change and how the digital age will change the way we , as well as the effect it will have on our future students and how it will affect the path they choose to follow to achieve their hopes and dreams.

In the early years of development the environment plays a huge role in how children learn and how they development, more than any other time in their life. In environments where children are not only taught that it’s OK to learn, but to also to enjoy the process leads to an active learning environment where children are allowed the opportunity to be involved in the act of learning. This active state allows the child an opportunity to grow, which leads to learning not only the subjects they enjoy, but the subjects they may not. Just as important as teaching one to be involved in the process, it is also important to keep outside influences from preventing the learner from reaching their goals. According to a study of the graduating class of 2001 conducted by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, “one out of every three U.S. students who enrolls in high school drops out before graduation” Littky (2004)(p.19). This pattern develops in the early years of life where difficult starts are hard to overcome and children who are not afforded the opportunity to learn in a safe and friendly environment struggle. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. ~ Dr. Seuss” Littky (2004)(p. 61). However when someone does care about the learning process and helps ensure that the appropriate learning environment exists, both at home and at school, everyone benefits.

Just beyond the door of both the home and school is an environment without the protection of family, friends and loved ones. This environment plays a big role in the development of young adults and being able to trust the people they come into contact with will play an important role in learning. Learning what’s real and not real will be even more important as the student learns who they can trust, especially when it concerns those teaching them. Teachers and coworkers play an important and vital role as author Pamela Myer(2010) stated in her book “trust is having a reasonable expectation that your collaborators will support your success”(Ch. 4). This allows the learning process to continue to develop and ensures that a safe and trusting learning environment exists. As we continue on through life as adults we will have the opportunity to participate in learning activities at work. Myer(2010) stated “anyone who has led, facilitated, or participated in organization-wide innovation, learning, and change strategies will tell you that the challenge is not in the conceiving, planning, or even the implementing but in sustaining the positive momentum once begun”(pg.19). This needs to be considered to allow the learning process to continue and thrive.

The future and structure of high schools and colleges will continue to change as the future technology moves to make the technology we are using right now obsolete. In the next five to ten years the digital age will enhance the learning environment and how we learn. The ways we will stay connected to our jobs and schools will continue to change as new and better technologies are developed and presented to the digital public. The people who continue to evolve with technology will continue to succeed in the future because as the author Littky (2004) states in his book “none of us are in school because we want it easy. If we wanted it easy, we’d be doing another job”(pg 183). As technology continues to evolve, the use of online learning will continue to evolve and teachers will be able to reach a wider audience. Businesses and communities will continue to realize the importance of this tool and hopefully encourage their employees to participate in and take advantage of what the on-line environment has to offer as the on-line providers continue to lead the way in the development of new and better environments for learning.

As we progress through time, we will be able to take advantage of amazing technological advancements in both work and school which will help us to continue to learn and grow. Each individual will be able to apply the technology in different ways to better enhance their overall learning experience. This will create an environment where learning will begin at an increasingly earlier age. Those exposed to new environments technologies in the future will only enhance the ability of what young children will be able to learn. What was once considered to be topics that should be taught at a later age, will be taught at an earlier age. This will be possible not because their ability to learn has changed, but because technology has enhanced the learning environment.

In conclusion, I have reviewed how our environment from early childhood to learning as an adult varies from person to person. We can be assured that the future will not only depend on the online learning environment, but also, we can be assured that the online learning environment will enhance and support conventional methods of learning. On-line higher education will evolve into a round the clock instruction where a greater number of learners can be reached (Jung-Chuan Yen, Blended Learning Environment, 2010). This learning environment will eventually be independent of time and space as technology will extend the classroom past boarders where people can’t cross. As learning environments change and technology advances, we will better understand our world and out place in it be we will better understand other people and their place in the world. Current and future learning environments will offer rewards far beyond just earning a degree.

Littky, Dennis & Grabelle, Samantha (2004). The big picture: Education is everyone’s business. Alexandria, VA: Assoc for supervision and curriculum development

Meyer, Pamela (2010). From workplace to playspace: Innovating, learning and changing through dynamic engagement. Place of publication: John Wiley & Sons

Moore, Joi L.; Dickson-Deane, Camille; & Galyen, Krista (2011). E-Learning, online learning and distance learning environments: Are they the same? Internet & Higher education, 14(2), 129-135, doi: 10.1016.

Yen, Jung-Chuan; Lee, Chun-Yi (2011, January). Exploring problem solving patterns and their impact on learning achievement in a blended learning environment. Computers & education, 56(1), 138-145, doi: 10.1016

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