What is learning with a purpose? Find out!


The process of learning can only occur when the learner is actively involved and has a positive attitude toward the process. When students are in a classroom situation they must do a number of things to enhance the learning process including, but not limited to, paying attention to the teacher, observing any activities within the classroom or outside, memorizing a number of facts about the subject, understanding what the teacher is saying and absorbing the information, and finally but most importantly, setting goals for yourself as a student and assuming total responsibility for your own learning.

Actions of the Teachers

Teachers are the main focus of the learning process. It is important for them to provide an environment that is conducive to purposeful learning. This means they should strive to create a learning environment that is interesting and provides challenges in the learning process and encourages students to actively participate. Learning environments that are focused predominantly on students listening to a lecture and taking notes is highly discouraged because it does not have the ability to maintain the attention of students for very long and thus fails to provide students with a learning environment where they can engage in active discussions.

The best environment for purposeful learning is one in which teachers provide students with hands-on activities inside and outside of the classroom. Teachers should allow students to make some decisions about what they want to learn and how they reach to achieve that education. When students feel they have some control over their own learning they are more open to working hard and making goals that allow them to learn the things they need to learn in order to reach a specific educational requirement.

How Organizations Approach "Learning with a Purpose"

Many organizations offer educational or training-related classes in order to provide learning activities, usually for employees of various organizations. While these organizations truly believe they offer "Learning with a Purpose," they fail to adequately incorporate purposeful learning into the structure of their training activities. Instead what they do is structure their curriculums too broadly because they fail to choose experts who are able to provide more detailed instruction in the required subject matter. Those in charge of providing the needed instruction do not even know whether it is adequate until students have the opportunity to provide an evaluation at the end of the course.

While these organizations truly believe they are providing "learning with a purpose," this is far from being the case. In spite of what they believe, they show the classic symptoms of an organization or school providing purposeless learning instead of purposeful learning.

Recognizing Learning with a Purpose

While it is not always easy to recognize whether a particular curriculum evolves from "learning with a purpose," viewing the way the teacher structures the classroom training will help you see whether the course is designed with a purpose or is just based on some broad and long term perceived functionality in mind. It doesn't matter whether the training is within the confines of a college or within the corporate world; the training should still provide a purpose for the student spending money and taking time to participate in a particular training session or class.

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