Passion-Based Learning for a Thriving Classroom

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Tyler is a 16-year-old who plays basketball. He goes to all of his practices, follows all of the coach’s instructions and is a natural on the court. But inside the classroom, Tyler only puts enough effort in to keep from failing. He is not internally motivated in the classroom as on the basketball court. Why? Tyler is not passionate about learning like he is about basketball.

Unfortunately, many students are like Tyler and have no passion for learning. The word ‘passion’ as described in the Oxford Dictionary means ‘an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.’ Impassionate learners equate to a classroom of disinterested and unmotivated students. To rekindle or create passion in students, teachers can incorporate the Passion-Based Learning Strategy in the classroom.

What is Passion-Based Learning?

Passion-Based Learning is the process of facilitating learning by harnessing and focusing on the students’ passions as well as creating passion within the students. This means, teachers can identify students’ passions and use those to stimulate their interest and engagement in the course curriculum. The primary benefit of incorporating the Passion-Based Learning strategy is that it enables students to tackle schoolwork by working from their strengths and interests with active learning.

Instill Passion in the Classroom

There are two ways teachers can instill “passion” in the classroom. First, as mentioned above is to explore, identify and structure learning, so that it evokes passion and stimulates students to learn and participate in the classroom.

The second strategy, which primarily depends on teachers, is to exude passion in teaching that inspires students. In doing so, teachers can help transform “topics which are dull and boring” into something desirable, enjoyable and practical.

Guidelines of Passion-Based Learning

Here are some guidelines to consider while introducing Passion-Based Learning in your classroom:

  • Reach out to ALL students: Passion-Based Learning equips students with the skills they need to be successful not just in the classroom, but also in the real world. It is essential that teachers reach out and include every student in the classroom and provide learning opportunities to enhance their learning.
  • Make content MATTER: Students are motivated to perform, only when they perceive the topic or subject as relevant or something that matters. When incorporating Passion-Based Learning, teachers need to be aware that the strategy is not only about matching students with topics of their interest, instead, it is about presenting the topics in a way that is relevant to the students.
  • Focus on strengths: Identify student strengths and encourage them to use those strengths in learning. For example if a student is passionate about drawing, they can use that skill in the classroom in many ways such as creative note-taking and artistic presentations.
  • Go online: The digital world can open endless possibilities for Passion-Based Learning in the classroom. We can be a part of various educator sites to facilitate the transfer of information and to provide opportunities for self-growth.
  • Connect with Parents: Parents know their children best and can provide information regarding the student’s interests, strengths and passions. Conducting parental conferences at the start of the year provides this necessary information and allows teachers to plan in advance for each student.

Most importantly be passionate. Teachers who model a love for learning can create a classroom of creative and intrinsically motivated students, passionate about learning.


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