Meaningful Learning

A quick introduction to the idea of "Meaningful Learning"

Posted January 30, 2020

Meaningful Learning in Canadian History:

Meaningful learning in history education involves learning history that has "significance to students’ lives now and in the future, both inside and outside the classroom, framed with interpretations of the past that align with their sense of familial or community history in and for the wider world. This sense of meaningful learning in Canadian history is both affective and political. "

- Samantha Cutrara

Meaningful Learning more generally:

Meaningful learning is the “constructive integration of thinking, feeling, and acting leading to empowerment for commitment and responsibility.”

-Joseph Novak

What is the difference you see between focusing on students' learning versus focusing on teachers' teaching?

Meaningful Learning requires:

  1. Connection to prior knowledge

  2. Meaningful material

  3. Assent of the learner

What does "assent of the learner" mean?

Kohl, Herbert. 1994. ‘I Won’t Learn from You’ and Other Forms of Creative Maladjustment. New York: The New Press. (link will take you to a copy of the full text)

Valenzuela, Angela 1999. Subtractive Schooling: US-Mexican youth and the politics of caring. New York: SUNY Press. (link will take you Google Books)