Topic 1 What is a difference between a learner and a student?

As academic standards shift, as technology evolves, and as student habits change, schools are being forced to consider new ways of framing curriculum and engaging learners in the classroom.

Schools long ago took the world, broke it into categories, and gamified its study with points, letter grades, and notions of progress and collaboration. This system can work, but only insofar as we want successful learners in “schools that work.”

Learners are a bit different. Learners ask questions, interact directly with content, self-direct, and seek to satisfy curiosity and authentic knowledge needs.

learners can do this too, but only while navigating the game so many schools (and their teacher-centered learning models) have become.

The difference between learners and learners then comes down to the clarity of purpose and purity of the interaction between child and content.

One seeks knowledge, the other “success.”

The relationship with the educators

learners can be are expected to adhere to the instructions of their teachers with much precision, somewhat like employees. On the other hand, learners have a great interest in knowledge and everything that should be learnt, much like it is required from a citizen for becoming a decent part of the society.

The relationships with classmates

Learners cooperate with others instead of competing with them.  This makes a difference in terms of how learners and learners acquire new knowledge. learners tend to compete with their classmates for the sake of getting a higher grade or excelling in education to a greater extent than other learners while learners are more productive because they learn how to efficiently cooperate with others and this is a useful skill that should be acquired to achieve success in later years of life.

The attitude towards motivation

learners are obliged to work hard to get “compensation” from their teachers in the form of grades and other means of knowledge assessment. Learners do not have to be motivated by grades or marks but with the understanding and realization of how valuable their work is, especially if their studies have some value to others. 

The compensation received

learners are expected to get grades in order to enter college or get a good job. On the other hand, learners are compensated by the sense of an accomplishment that is not given to them but rather earned by them in order to get new knowledge in reward.

The qualities acquired

learners are supposed to be objective-oriented, disciplined to work in a group and compliant with the rules established by the school, while learners are self-disciplined, resourceful and goal-oriented. Unlike learners, learners are supposed to accomplish some goals and produce new knowledge instead of simply acquiring new skills and abilities.

The knowledge circulation

While learners’ knowledge derives from the teacher or institutionally-approved sources, the learner’s knowledge circulates in multiple directions.  They have the interest and the ability to distill knowledge from more than the official sources, such as information provided through games or movies, or other, more questionable sources. Moreover, once they have received the information, they have no problem sharing it with the persons in their vicinity and sometimes, due to their high degree of knowledge on a discussed subject, they may even teach their teacher some aspects.

The process of empowerment will enable the learner to think, believe, and carry out an activity and criticize his/her own work and made decisions autonomously.  Also, empowerment consists of four dimensions:

1.Meaningfulness—considers the value of tasks in relation to one’s own beliefs, ideas and standards. If the work is not meaningful, the learners will not be motivated to generate high-quality work;

2.Competence—means that the person feels qualified and capable to perform the necessary activities to achieve the goal.  The feelings of empowerment are decreased when the individual lack self-confidence in their skills and feel intimidated by the task or goal;

3.Impact—means that the accomplishment of a task is perceived to make a difference in the scheme of things.  The more impact individuals believe they have, the more internal motivation they should feel;

4.Choice—refers to the degree to which persons self-determine their task goals or methods for accomplishing them. This model predicted that great choice contributes to feelings of increased empowerment.

There is a fine line between the notions of learner and a student but the main difference seems to be the degree of interiorization of the learning process. A learner has autonomy and has a genuine desire to achieve excellence in the field of study while a student, has only the desire to perform well in the tasks set by others.