Part 2 – Implications for teaching and learning
LAST week’s write-up described two opposing theories on creation. Each has their own implications for us and for our learners. We teachers may not be conscious of it, but how we try making our learners learn would suggest what our unconscious holds.
God rested on the seventh day. A perfect clock is a metaphor for God creating everything out of nothing in the beginning. The earth was “without form and void, and darkness over it.” God further developed His creation: the earth’s atmosphere, positioning the sun and stars, separating the Earth’s water from land, creating plant and animal and sea life, and finally, humanity.” As Genesis states, on the seventh day, God rested. Our teacher explained all Creation through a metaphor of a huge and perfect clock — meaning everything that had been, is and will be coming and appearing on this cosmos, we humans included, were created billions of years ago. This figurative description of creation made it easier for us students to understand that life and other forms created billions of years ago manifest themselves at a predestined time as the seconds tick on.
Creation is continuous. God continues to create, new forms of life continuously manifesting themselves. This was less difficult to understand. Our teacher’s metaphor was a perfect tree — it pollinates, it flowers and fruits, its seeds fall and it renews itself. Arising from these theories are views on creation and conservation. How that which had been created could have new life forms was referred to as conservation. Continuous creation theorists reject a distinction between creation and conservation. Some contend that conservation is a creaturely act, while others consider conservation as an act of creation. Some consider God’s action of creating things is the same action as God’s conserving things and that God alone brings about the continued existence of created things. However, as I confessed, I am not qualified to argue on this. Its implication on how we view our learners would be my interest as a teacher.
Implications for teaching and learning. A continuing creation implies that like the tree and the seasons, a learner would continue to bloom and fruit. The gardener that we teachers are, we are to keep nurturing the learner, helping the learner to continue becoming.
However, becoming would need for the learner to be a being first. Translating this in learning, any individual is a being before he starts becoming. Where a learner is, is the learner’s “being.” A learner’s “being” considered and understood, having the learner “become” would likely be successful. In simple words, start where the learner is. In the lower grades, more detailed guidance would be needed. This approach is true at any level of learning; only the technique differs. In the graduate level, students are mostly professionals. They opt to further their studies to advance their careers. Assigned Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s) which they can help craft have to be interesting and relevant to career needs. This ensures meaningful learning for the student. It follows, they would have all that it takes to continue “becoming.”
Becoming needs a sense of belonging. The need to belong is a basic human need, “integral to human existence,” much like our need for food and shelter. A sense of belonging enables us “to see value in life and to cope with challenges. Belonging acknowledges our interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining our identity.
Throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging.”
<https://www.acecqa.gov.au › sites › default › files› belonging _being _and>. “Belonging is central to both being and becoming in that it shapes who we are and who we can become.” A sense of belonging “makes us feel like there is a community behind us. It can make us feel relaxed and receptive and motivated.” How does belonging matter to graduate students? “Belonging” would mean we are valued, respected, our needs attended to. As lecturers/professors, we provide necessary cues to improve students’ skills in conducting their capstone research, not insulting them when they ask questions, which to us with doctoral degrees seem elementary. Boosting in our students a sense of belonging means, we treat them fairly.
Belongingness in higher education. A study in higher education defines a sense of belonging as referring “to the students’ perceived social support on campus, a feeling or sensation of connectedness, the experience of mattering or feeling cared about, accepted, respected, valued by and important to the group (e.g., campus community) or others on campus (e.g., faculty, peers).” <ijds.org › Volume12> As graduate students and as professionals, who may be present on campus only between weeks, they, like all other students, would love to feel they, too, are “part of a school community.” Studies have found that students with a sense of belonging to their university “will actively engage in academic and non-academic activities.”
“Being a student is about gaining knowledge and developing skills, joining a profession, finding a job. It is also about learning to take care of oneself and how to balance competing time commitments. It is about building relationships and developing a unique identity. Being a student is centered around self-development: the present and the projected future self.”
Do our “higher education administrators understand these conditions of studentship?”<https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=201602
2321112282>How do we, as part of the academic environment, help boost a sense of belonging and help further our students’ career? How do “universities cater for students’ academic and personal development?”