The two articles that I read on Passion-Based Learning were “25 Ways to Institute Passion -Based Learning in the Classroom” and “My Journey Teaching Through Passion-Based Learning“. These two articles went hand-in-hand with one another- The first article talked about how to use Passion-Based Learning in the classroom, and the other spoke of a teacher who incorporated this concept into his classroom. They were both very interesting and educational for me, an aspiring educator.
In the first article, “25 Ways to Institute Passion-Based Learning in the Classroom”, there is actually a list of 25 different ideas for a teacher to be successful while using Passion-Based Learning. There were a few that stuck out to me- Indulge in your own passions when you are outside of the classroom, which was number two on the list, and help students create something with their passions, which is number eighteen.
Number two stuck out to me because I thought about how students can indulge in their own passions outside of the classroom, which lead me to think about my years in elementary, middle and high school. I asked myself, “How did I indulge in my passions outside of the classroom?” Well, I played sports, which is a big passion of mine. Then I thought about students who had passions that maybe were not sanctioned by the school or were not connected to the school at all. What could those passions be? Maybe hunting? Biking? Bowling? Or something that is not a physical activity, such as poetry or video games.
I realized that school took up so much of my time outside of the classroom that I barely had time to do all of the things that I loved to do, so maybe it did the same for others. Maybe some of my friends lost their passion for something because they had no time to do it, so it slowly drifted out of their lives. I could never let this happen to any of my students. The other idea that I think is important is number eighteen- help students create something with their passions.
These two ideas are a perfect pair with each other. Hey, current teachers and future educators, I have a genius idea for you- INCORPORATE THE STUDENTS’ PASSIONS INTO THEIR HOMEWORK. Sorry to raise my hypothetical voice there, but is that not a great idea or what?! Give the students the opportunity to use their passions in all curriculums of the classroom.
Let’s say a student likes to swim as a hobby in his or her free time, and in the math class you teach you are learning about angles. Have the student video him or herself from the starting position and the amount of time it takes them to hit the water from the start. The student can repeat this a few times and then watch the video and take some simple measurements- what was the angle of your push-off leg before the start? Your back? Have them calculate this for however many starts they filmed, then have them measure the angle of their body when they hit the water. After this they can time themselves to see how long it took them to have their whole body under water. They can bring in their results for an assignment. If they can gather enough information they can fix and adjust their stance to the point where they know exactly how their stance should be to have the fastest time. This will carry over to be a successful swimmer and then, boom, they may have a deep passion for swimming and learn about angles at the same time!
The other article I read was “My Journey Teaching Through Passion-Based Learning”. This article talked about a teacher who started a project that allowed students to use their passions in the classroom to create a personal project. This is exactly like that “crazy” idea I spoke of earlier. The teacher chose to do this project at the end of the year when the students were crawling their way to the finish line. The strategy to this is perfect because the students were more engaged during the last weeks of school then they were at the start of the year.
For this project the students could do anything. I repeated- the student could do ANYTHING. There was no more textbooks to follow, lectures to listen to and notes to take. The education was in the hands of the students. As it turns out, they learned so much easier and faster because their passions were involved. The results were astonishing. Their was a boy who built a “laser engraving machine from old printers”. Although there were complications during the use of it, it was still a successful project.
Another project was a student who created a piece of music using a technology program on a computer. The link to the video can be found on YouTube.com, here. It can also be watched below.
These are just a few examples of using Passion-Based Learning in the classroom. It is imperative that students use their own interests in the classroom because if they are passionate about it they will have no choice but to find a way to be successful. Not only that, but they will enjoy their time doing so.