Teacher’s should create Learners, not Students

I started my search on Google. I used the term “elementary school teacher” then I refined my search to only include blogs. As I began to go through and explore everything that came up, I hit the third page and a blog title caught my attention. The title was A conversation about teaching preparation by. Robert Talbert.

In this article he speaks to his a conversation he had with his 8 year old daughter about becoming a teacher. I found myself astounded by the ending of the conversation. As was Mr. Talbert, apparently. He was asked if he, as a college professor, was he ever asked to practice teaching adults. He responded to his daughter with a simple um…no. However, he was intrigued by the concept. He just blogged about the conversation itself and then asked for comments from others. He never really gave his own opinion on the matter in his blog just more, food for thought. I was super interested in this idea that as you go up the grades and into higher education, the less you are required to actually KNOW HOW to teach. That to me was something that stood out and made me look at other posts he had on Casting out the Nines, which is a blog on The Chronicle.

That lead me to another blog titled We need to produce learners, not just students and This article really spoke to me because I completely agreed with Prof. Talbert’s main point. He said,

 For me, the main purpose of higher education is to train students on how to be learners— people who take initiative for learning things, who are skilled in learning new things, and who above all want to learn new things. My goal as an instructor is to make sure that every student in my class makes some form of incremental improvement in having the dispositions and skills attendant with successful lifelong learning. I care about this a lot more than I care about covering this or that particular content topic in a course.

I definitely feel that he is so right. Your GPA means nothing if you never gasped the material that was taught and don’t posses the skills needed in your chosen profession. This is a concept that I agree with and feel should be expressed to not only teachers but students as well. We need to create students that want to learn and not just try to “get through the class”. Students that take the initiative to explore on their own and are interested in what they are learning.   As a future education teacher for grades 1 to 6, I feel that at the age in a child development, although the student will need all of guidance, to allow them to explore and discover things on their own we can create a generation of learners rather than just students.

He goes on to explain how he achieves this in his own classroom . Using 4 simple steps he got from  Paul Pintrich. He states,

  1. Learners are active participants in the learning process.
  2. Learners have the option to monitor and control their thinking and motivations for learning.
  3. Learners have a standard against which comparisons can be made to decide whether their learning is going fine or needs to change.
  4. Learners are mediators between their own personal learning characteristics and their achievement.


Pintrich called this concept a Self-regulated learning model. On a higher education level of education this model would work amazingly well ,however, in an elementary school setting things would need to be more structured in order for this to be effective. I am see a lot of his blogs being helpful to me in my path on being a teacher. Learning from other teachers and network sharing on how to teach things are so beneficial and I was very interested in a lot of the topics he brought up. Absolutely would love to continue to follow him and his work.