Have Schools Lost Passion?

School is a wonderful place. It is a wonderful place if you enjoy memorizing information and regurgitating said information to perform well on a test and then forgetting about it because it is mostly useless in the real world. Yes, some little facts may still remain trapped in your brain that you may use down the road to answer a trivia question or blurt out to one-up someone. But I would have liked to have had an educational experience that helped me grow as a person and learned about what I was interested in.

Passion based learning is something I have recently done a lot of research about. A few great articles that really had good information for me were Ainissa Ramirez’s “Passion-Based Learning” and Tina Barseghian’s “Nine Tenants of Passion-Based Learning.” They both talked about how a teacher’s passion is infectious and how that will affect the students and get the students interested and want to get involved. I think that so many times educators forget how exciting something can be to a student. The educator may not have an interest in it but, if they fake it for their students then the students may find a passion for it that they would have missed without that initial action from the teacher.

My job as a future educator is to make sure I have that passion for everything. I also need to understand that the students need to be introduced to topics and given the basics before I were to teach all the in-depth information. My goal as a future educator is to integrate passion-based learning into my curriculum while also meeting the requirements of the state. This may be a challenge because of how schools are set up now, it seems as if the government doesn’t care much about individual’s learning until they get to college and are expected to know what field they want to go into for the rest of their lives. I believe that college is sort of an example of passion-based learning because, hopefully, you are passionate and excited about whatever field you are going into.

I would have loved to have started learning more about children in high school. How children think, why they act the way they do, and how to teach them fascinates me and is really fun for me to learn about. Yes, I was an excellent student in high school but as I go through college I realize how wasted most of what I learned is. I took 3 years of pottery because I loved it and I had a passion in working with clay, some students didn’t get that opportunity because they “had” to take specific classes to get into college, their parents wanted them to, or a scholarship needed some other class. That always made me so sad because they were miserable doing what they didn’t want to. My goal as a future educator is to find out what each of my students are passionate about and get them learning something about that as often as possible.


14 thoughts on “Have Schools Lost Passion?

  1. I loved reading your blog! I think you are so right that many students in school now aren’t able to take the classes that they want to until they get into college because of the various reasons that you stated. I wish that learning would have been different when we were in high school because there were very few classes that I actually enjoyed. I hope that you are very successful when incorporating this into your future classroom!


    1. Thank you so much. Your support is so encouraging for me! I am sad that you didn’t have a ton of classes in high school you enjoyed because learning should be fun and unfortunately that doesn’t happen.


  2. This is a great blog post. You really captured what [assion in learning looks like. From the very beginning, I could agree fully with you. School, is all about memorizing information, dates, and people…but do you actually remember these things? We all know who Abraham Lincoln is, but only because we hear about him in every class. But what about other men who have changed America? Kids can recite the Spanish alphabet, but can’t talk to the Spanish foreign exchange student, and they can tell you the area of your garden, but were never taught how to cut a vegetable. While this may seem trivial or dumb…many students struggle with everyday tasks, but have the ability to identify every rock they see. I cannot wait to see the changes in education here in the near future.


    1. I think that you are absolutely correct. I think the Spanish one really hit home for me, I mean I took 3 years of the language but I wouldn’t be able to tell you a complete sentence. This makes me sad because our teacher would get so upset over using google translate but she didn’t teach us in a way we would remember.


  3. MacKenna,
    Your post is so relatable from the very first paragraph on! I often feel that I learn and try to memorize things in order to help me do well on a test, but I usually wasn’t too fond of the information so it left me forgetting it once we moved on to a new topic. This class alone as inspired me more than most classes and I agree that is the great thing about college is being able to have choices in what you want to learn about. (Although, we still get stuck paying for certain classes that don’t benefit us what so ever.) These were some great articles to read over that you shared, that really intrigued me to want to inspire children even more once I become a teacher. I believe that if I was able to do more assignments towards my interests I would be so much smarter and actually use the knowledge in the future. (If only more professors were like this class.)


    1. I do think that taking general classes is not fun and a big waste of our time, we choose what area we want to go into for a reason so unless this will actually benefit us in real life why should we be forced to take it? I think that you wanting to inspire is what will make you a great teacher!


  4. I like what you said about college being a type of Passion Based Learning, you’re right about that even if it doesn’t feel that way when you’re going through ED Psych. Your example of taking pottery is a great deal because you loved it and I’m sure made all kids of great works with that. You made great works because it was something you loved and that motivated you to do your best. Somehow we have to show the school governing bodies that passion based learning is a round about way to get to get to their almighty test scores. Motivation to learn should be more important than a score.


    1. I’m glad Ed. Psych. made an impact on someone other than me! I think that your point about showing the governing bodies is excellent. We can sit here and talk all day about how we want to change how everything is done but until we have action and proof it will never happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent post! You’re going to be a terrific teacher.

    As I wrote in this blog post, there is not a conflict between honoring student passion and meeting state requirements. Passionate students can’t wait to get to school, and are much more engaged all day.


    [The Liberating Genius book referenced in the post has been republished as Genius Matters, and is available here: http://downloads.smarttech.com/media/ebooks/genius_matters_book.pdf%5D


  6. After reading your blog, I think you need to become a counselor. This way you can guide high school students with what academics to take and recommend to the principal what classes he/she can offer. Remember some courses of students’s interest are never offered or available. In addition, you can research where they can go to take courses elsewhere and be a student advocate to your superiors and his/her parent/guardian.


    1. Interesting idea. I can honestly say I hadn’t thought of that career path before. I do love the idea of being able to guide students I really love the elementary age kids and I honestly can’t see myself loving being with high schooler’s all the time, but bless those that can and do that all day!


  7. MacKenna,
    I too loved pottery in high school! It was a great way to express myself and release some stress. Maybe you could incorporate clay into your science lessons or your history lessons? Have your students create something out of clay based off of what the lesson was about? Nice job!


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