Relevancy enhances learning, future outcomes

Photo Illustration by Cory Wyman ’16 and AK Alilonu ’16 – Students learn through unique styles, intrests.

By Reece M. Krantz ’16

What causes someone to be willing to learn?

“Willing” is the operative word here because without a desire to learn something, the learning process is sure to be stymied.

There are several reasons why people decide to learn a new skill or concept.

Some people enter the learning environment because they want to obtain the skills necessary for a new job.

Rodolfo Saldana ’16 aspires to be and audio engineer and has taken up music in order to learn more about the topic.

“I’m learning instruments in slightly advanced classes so that in the future I can hopefully know more because it is pretty related,” Saldana said.

Others simply attend a class to brush up on a new concept such as how to manage their financial books.

Others enter the classroom simply because they want to learn more about something that interests them.

From readings, conversations with students, and from my own experience, it seems a prerequisite for learning is that the subject must have some relevancy to the learner.

There has to be a reason for bothering to engage with the topic.

In schools, the reason for learning often is that the student has to get through the content in order to complete the course of education.

When a student is excited about the material and wants to learn, there is a much deeper engagement with the content and, I believe, true learning can take place.

When that desire is not present, when the content does not present relevancy to the learner, then the prerequisite for learning rests on developmental maturity.

The learner needs to be sufficiently mature to understand that despite what they feel toward the material, they need to engage because of requirements and expectations, and because doing so may benefit them in the long run.

Students want to enjoy this as a facility for growth as well. Many students come to school for the very fact; others for a more specific purpose.

Personally, I enjoy classes of science and math because they are involved in engineering and my career interests.

Learning should be a concept that helps rather than harms. In doing so, it should also encourage and nurture the experiences and interests of students.