Philosophy of Learning
Western Michigan University's
The occupational therapy program's mission is to
develop and prepare occupational therapists to deliver high standards of
health care to a diverse population in a changing environment through education,
research, and leadership. (Nov. 1997)
Department of Occupational Therapy
Dept. Belief Statements about the
Educational experiences should be developmental and
Educational experiences should be experiential,
life-centered, and relevant to the learner.
Educational experiences should move the student
toward self-directed learning.
Life experience of learners should be valued
as an educational resource.
Learning should be driven primarily by internal
motivators rather than external motivators. (Dec. 1995)
Holton, and Swanson (1998) have done extensive research on adult learning
theory and published on how to facilitate effective adult learning.
One of their conclusions is that we must alter the traditional faculty/student
relationship. They state that the role of the university faculty
is to provide opportunities for students to become active learners.
Faculty do that by creating powerful learning environments for students
to gain knowledge, rather than trying to transfer faculty members' knowledge
to students through lectures.
According to Knowles, Holton, and Swanson (1998),
The most effective learning occurs when
the learner takes responsibility for her/his own learning
learners are cooperative, collaborative, and supportive
learners are accountable for their new learning
classes are student centered
When learners are active in the learning process,
The faculty member's role in facilitating learning is
develop critical thinking skills
develop a social support system for learning
are able to tap into their most effective learning styles
develop life-long learning skills
provide carefully constructed learning activities to motivate students
provide an environment for students to meet course objectives within a
given time frame
provide an opportunity for students to discuss and integrate knowledge
into "real life" situations
provide an environment for students to go beyond course objectives
assist learners when necessary in how to find information
assist learners to work collaboratively to learn from each other most effectively
provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning and mastery
of course objectives
Knowles, M., Holton, E., & Swanson, R. (1998).
The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and
human resource development (5th ed.). Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing