Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

LinKai_Jiang's picture

Pursue the question of passion

Let's propose the question: what role does passion play in students' learning and the classroom dynamic?

As Simone suggests, emotional and personal elements are always present in the classroom, be them students' or teachers'. The western tradition of thinking separates reason from passion. Their cooperation obviously promotes one's quality of learning. But their discordance hinders one's ability and motivation to learn. One proposal is to let the students learn what they are passionate about. This way they will not only learn better they will also enjoy the process better and feel better about themselves. Leaving the practical implementation aside for the moment, there's the concern of how one's passion develops. Is passion cultivated through a particular kind of learning or is passion more or less innate or is passion substantially the influence of one's environment? It seems to me we need to get a better idea of this concern before deciding on how to best incorporate it into our learning. I will try to get a preliminary idea by reflecting on how I came to be passionate about certain things in my life. At the very basis is the elementary curiosity we all possess. What I came to love and became constitutive of my personhood was subject to the available relevant sources and people to encourage and sustain the love. My love for learning (although not always in the classroom) went through a series of conditioning accompanied by self-reflection. How did I learn what things are worthy of pursuit? I did not, at least not on my own. I looked at the available fun things in my life; some entertain the body, some entertain the mind and some do a amazing job entertaining both. The fact that I came to value the cultivating of mind and character more than bodily pleasure is a product of the influence of a nexus of people and forces which I can not fully trace. During that process I also judged the value of each choice and reflected on who I want to be. If I were left alone to do whatever I wanted to do I would probably turn out very differently, could be for better or for worse. There were so many opportunities for me to go astray. I think allowing students to pursue their true passion is great but that  entails that students know what their true passions are. There is the further complication that not all passions are worthy of pursuit, some are even harmful.




















The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
12 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.