Saturday, June 8, 2013

Why I Teach and Practice Instructional Design

This is a repost of an article originally posted on the EdTech Dojo on 01/24/2012. It captures some of my deepest beliefs about instruction and teaching, so I thought it was worth reposting here.

I LOVE INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN. I love thinking, reading, writing about, and doing it. I love talking about it with my designer friends and I have chosen to spend my career as an instructional designer and as a teacher of instructional design. But why is instructional design so important to me? Why am I so excited about it? Here are several reasons:

I believe in human potential. 

 I believe that people have the power to learn, grow and become better. I believe that every human has the capacity to learn and to contribute to society in meaningful ways. Education gives people the power to contribute to society. We all have within us the “seeds of greatness.” We have the capacity to grow, expand, develop and become something incredible.

I believe in education. 
My experience is that education can absolutely revolutionize an person’s life. Through gaining a high quality education over the last decade of my life, I have come to view the world in totally new ways and I have a sense of personal empowerment that I would likely never have known without that education. Education breaks the bonds of ignorance, stupidity, and narrow-mindedness. It opens opportunities that were never available before.

I believe in self-improvement.
I have spent many hours listening to self-help audio programs by success speakers such as Stephen Covey, Anthony Robbins and Zig Ziglar. This form of education has helped me build a positive attitude, to set and reach difficult goals. This experience has shown that I have the ability to do difficult and rewarding things, and it fuels my belief that education and learning can change lives.

I love to see people succeed.
I have known some personal success, and it has been rewarding. But I receive as much or more gratification when I assist others in their success. I have worked with many individuals and classes over the years and find deep satisfaction when I see my students succeed.

Knowledge empowers.
Underlying all of these is the certainty that knowledge gives people power. Knowledge lifts us, ennobles us, and makes us better. Providing an individual with knowledge through effective instruction is a noble, just, good act, and is something that is worthy of my time and energy.

So, this is why I love instructional design. As an instructional designer and an educator, I am participating in work that empowers people, that gives learners the capacity to grow, to succeed, to take control of their lives more fully. I am giving people tools that can change their lives. This is why I have devoted my professional life to teaching and instructional design.


avancha said...

Many thanks for sharing your insights on the profession of Instructional Design. It is highly motivating for me to read the last two paragraphs, assisting others and enabling others to achieve success in their lives.

joel gardner said...

You are welcome, avancha. I believe that encouraging and empowering others is something that is part of my personal mission as a human being, and I am therefore extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work in this field. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. I think that it is vital for people to keep these things in mind. An introspective review (checking in with ourselves) keeps us mindful.

joel gardner said...

Hey, great point. It can be easy to focus our attention on WHAT we are doing without realizing WHY. This awareness enables more purposeful behavior in the future, and I have found that as I work to be more purposeful in my work and in my life, I experience more satisfaction and success.