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An Overlooked Learning Environment - Madeline Campbell

cross-posted from http://virtualicteltpd.ning.com/profiles/blogs/an-overlooked-learning-environment

In education, the most important, primary, and over-looked 'modern learning environment' is the space between our ears. How we think, what we think, and why we think it, catalyses and forms functional and inhabitable learning spaces wherever we present ourselves as educators.
How I cultivate my mindset with a focus on growth, and how I choose to nurture my neurons, will ultimately shape the physical, virtual, and energetic spatial fields that will take shape around me. How I think, my pedagogical beliefs, shape the learning spaces where I work, and I want to be increasingly conscious of this. My beliefs shape my environment, regardless of whether or not I'm aware of them. Addressing what exactly modern learning practices and environments are allows us to re-engage with our own beliefs and values about what education means in the 21st century.
To uproot a garden of learning ideas shaped by an industrial, consumerist, competitive paradigm, driven by fear and scarcity, with a new bed of learning ideas shaped by knowledge building, learner agency, collaboration, and connectedness, informed by the notion of 'growth' and by environmental awareness, is no 'mean feat'. To operate balanced with a foot in each world is our challenge as educators, as a shift between ways of thinking about learning and the resources and infrastructure required, will take time.
A growth mindset and an emphasis on 'process praise' is as much about an empathetic expansion of the heart and its capacity to feel, as it is an expansion of the mind, of growing neurons to increase the capacity to think. Having an expansive heart and mind located in the learning space of my body will inevitably change the quality of my actions and interactions with the people and living things surrounding me. In a good way too, I trust.