Factors That Contribute To A Fertile Learning Environment: Individual and Group Education

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I think a fertile learning environment is where teachers treat students as peers, and accept and respect them as intellectual students whose belief and opinions are paid attention to, honored, and appreciated. I also like working in a classroom where students and instructors interact and dialogue. I also see a fertile learning environment as an atmosphere that promotes academic freedom and encourages experimentation and originality. I feel I have been learning in an environment where students feel safe and supported, where individual needs and uniqueness are honored, particularly in the LAC301 class. The intensive learning environment I have been experiencing in this class has catalyzed a fundamental shift in the way I look at university education. Learning about the benefits of a liberal arts education has changed the way I see the world. In addition, I have come to understand that the LAC301 class offers both physical comfort and psychological safety in the learning setting. Issues such as a structured classroom, comfortable chairs, and nearby bathrooms can make a huge difference in the quality and impact of the learning experience. I also like the way we do things in class. For example, I find the discussion time we have in class very valuable and important to my learning process. Since I have been in LAC 301, I have been filled with a positive attitude toward education and a solid basic foundation that will be used throughout my entire career at Marylhurst University.

I come from a different culture where the educational system involves a lot of negatives and is tough and stressful. The classrooms accommodate large groups; a typical classroom in a Sri Lankan college seats about fifty students, usually arranged in rows fac...

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...s important to find a balance between individual and collective learning activities in an educational environment.

In order to promote learning, members need to share in its accountability to create a successful, challenging community. In addition, the community should not use lectures to teach, but instead use Socratic formats that allow a dialogue to develop between the student and teacher. The exchange between students should be significant. Learning is facilitated when connections are created throughout the entire learning community for accomplishing important work. Busy work and meaningless social activities are damaging to the learning community, just as the Sri Lankan education system feels inadequate and stressful. The interaction stressed in the CAEL document seems to emphasize the best that can be achieved by employing both individual and group education.

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