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Abstract

Passion has a motivating factor; therefore, it is a significant need for high quality learning and teaching. Passion is seeking for the new, and experiencing new ideas. Passion is on the basis of effective teaching. Passion which is indispensable for learning and teaching facilitates learning thorough desire and enthusiasm it creates. Passionate teachers via creating effective learning environments endeavor to increase learning potentials of their students. This study focuses on differences passionate teachers make, and points out the effects of passion on effective learning and teaching.
International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies
ISSN 2520-0968 (Online), ISSN 2409-1294 (Print), September 2017, Vol.4, No.1
60
IJSSES
The Role of Passion in Learning and Teaching
Hamdi Serin1
1Faculty of Education, Ishik University, Erbil, Iraq
Correspondence: Hamdi Serin, Ishik University, Erbil, Iraq.
Email: hamdi.serin@ishik.edu.iq
Received: July 11, 2017 Accepted: August 23, 2017 Online Published: September 1, 2017
doi: 10.23918/ijsses.v4i1p60
Abstract: Passion has a motivating factor; therefore, it is a significant need for high quality learning and
teaching. Passion is seeking for the new, and experiencing new ideas. Passion is on the basis of effective
teaching. Passion which is indispensable for learning and teaching facilitates learning thorough desire and
enthusiasm it creates. Passionate teachers via creating effective learning environments endeavor to increase
learning potentials of their students. This study focuses on differences passionate teachers make, and points
out the effects of passion on effective learning and teaching.
Keywords: Passion, Passionate Teacher, Effective Learning and Teaching, Commitment
1. What is Passion?
Passion is learning something new, giving importance. It is constantly being in search for the new and in
the effort of learning. Passion has the ability to transmit and create action. Passion is motivation, seeking
for the new and willingness to learn. Passion is simply showing a strong tendency and willingness
through spending time and energy on an activity that someone likes or believes that it is important
(Carbonneau, Vallerand, Fernet & Guay, 2008). Being passionate is closely related to learning and
experiencing new ideas. According to Day, passion is identified with hope, loyalty, care, and
enthusiasm, which are key features of effective teaching (2004). Passion is an important factor in
inspiring teachers and motivating them.
2. Who is a Passionate Teacher?
Fried (2001) describes a passionate teacher as someone who is in love with the field of knowledge,
deeply excited about the ideas that change our world, and closely interested in the potentials and
dilemmas of young people who come to class every day. Similarly, Zehm and Kottler (1993) define
passionate teachers as those who love the work they do. Passion is essential for quality and effective
learning. It is a factor that increases the performance of teachers, and encourages them for more student
achievement. Passionate teachers are committed to creating an effective learning environment and
increase the learning potential of students. Passion contributes to creativity, thus passionate teachers
have more thinking skills and can easily produce new ideas. Passionate teachers are committed to the
International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies
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schools they work for and a good educational achievement is a good result of this commitment.
According to Olson (2003), when we discover our passions about teaching and learning and share them
with others, the doors are open, and everything becomes possible.
3. What is the Role of Passion in Learning and Teaching?
Passion, which is based on commitment, is at the heart of effective teaching. Day suggests that (2004),
passion is not an option. It is a necessity for a higher education(p.11). Passion creates motivation,
hence encourages teachers to act (Vallerand, 2007). For this reason, passionate teachers can create
excitement that influences learning. Hargreaves (1997, p. 17), emphasizing the link between learning
and education argues that all pedagogical approaches fail unless passion is created in the classroom.
Passionate teachers like their job, and they are aware of the effect of passion on student success. The
influence of passion for learning and teaching is indisputable, for this reason passionate teachers are
always in an effort to increase student achievement. Hansen (2001) defines passionate teachers as people
who truly believe that teaching energizes them compared with those who have lost faith and put less
effort into their jobs. An enthusiastic teacher can encourage students and turn them into passionate
individuals to achieve more successful outcomes. Fink (2003) states that when students attach
importance to something they become more energetic and willing to learn.
One of the most important elements in the development of passion for teaching is the commitment and
dedication of teachers to students and their learning. Passionate teachers are strongly committed to their
work and can inspire their students and awaken their desire to learn. Fox (1964) states that the power of
a profession is measured by the commitment of those who do it and he goes on to say that it is the same
with teaching. Fox emphasizes that passion is a distinctive feature for teachers and that it has a positive
effect on student achievement. Kushman (1992) and Rosenholtz (1989) found a link between teacher
commitment and student achievement. Fried (2001) supports this idea by saying that there is a
relationship between passionate teaching and quality education and explains its reasons in the following
way:
if students know that the teacher has a high level of interest in the subject and puts a high
standard on them, they will become more serious. At this point, teaching is no longer a job done
by force and turns into an inspiration for the students.
unless a collaborative learning environment and a desire to take risks is created in the classroom
a relationship between the teacher and the student is established.
students will be less motivated to learn if they do not know how to apply what they learn in their
lives.
Passionate teachers know that it is their responsibility to encourage students and they are always
interested in their development. Passionate teachers work with enthusiasm, constantly increase their
devotion and commitment and they believe in the importance of their job. Thapan (1986) argues that
teaching commitment affects teachers' behavior, attitudes, perceptions and performance. Passionate
teachers always search and endeavor to increase their skills as these factors are essential for continuous
teaching.
International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies
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The first feature of passionate teachers is that they share their strengths, knowledge and love with their
students. They create different learning conditions in their field to guide their students. As a second
feature, passionate teachers accept themselves as a part of learning process and pass on this passion to
their students. They can motivate students who have less experience and are less motivated.
According to Hansene (1995), teaching for a passionate teacher is
knowing what they did not know before
learning what they could not do before
obtaining attitudes which they did not have before
believing what they did not belive before
Passion is a feeling that your mind is strongly influenced. Passion is a guiding, a motivating element that
emanates from emotional power. Through passion, one can reach the targets. Passionate teachers are not
the ones who are only willing to plan the next lesson. They are always engaged in teaching by looking at
it from different focuses. Rest (1986) states that passionate teachers are those who constantly try to
develop themselves, explore, encourage environment, reflect what they know, make plans, set targets,
and take risks and responsibility.
Passionate teachers can make a difference in students lives and achievements. Passionate teachers
accomplish this with who they are, what they know (field knowledge) and how they teach (beliefs,
attitudes, personal and professional values). Rowe (2003) argues that teacher quality is a key variable in
student experience and school achievement. Konstantipolos (2006) suggests that teacher efficacy is
greater than school efficacy in student achievement. The passionate teacher is always in the effort of
professional development because he constantly aims at student success. Fried (2001) stresses that
passion is witnessed in three places in teaching:
teachers are committed to their fields
teachers are passionate about the events that go on in the world
teachers are committed to students
Passionate teachers are always in the effort of professional development because they constantly aim at
development of students. According to Fried, passion is not a personal feature which is found in some
people and not found in others, passion is discoverable, teachable and reproducible (2004). Passion is
increased or decreased according to personal and social status. Five key qualities seen in passionate
teachers are (Day, 2009):
technical and personal skills, deep knowledge and empathy with students.
good teachers give importance to students and they see students as an important part of their job
and take care of their success
reflect their educational ideals and beliefs as they are crucial to the motivation, commitment and
effectiveness
teachers understand the feelings of the people around themselves. Good learning requires the use
of good knowledge together with emotion.
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being an effective teacher requires hope. When faced with difficulties, they need to be capable
of finding solutions.
Fried (2001) lists 10 essential characteristics of passionate teachers as follows:
they like to work with young people, new knowledge and ideas
the lack of knowledge and ability of students is not an excuse to diminish their love for them
give importance to students
they are aware of world affairs and class issues, and reflect them effectively
they work seriously, and possess wit
they can tolerate the meaningless behaviors of students and at the same time they are very
sensitive to the good behaviors students should acquire
they avoid criticizing ideas and strive to create mutual respect
they take risks, and like all people they can make mistakes, but they learn from these mistakes.
they try to create an effective learning environment where students learn from their own
mistakes
they take their job seriously and clearly express their ideas and beliefs.
4. Conclusion
Passion is a significant factor that can contribute to student achievement. Passionate teachers who are
strongly committed to their work can make a positive difference in student achievement. In addition to
being a motivating factor, passion can influence learning and teaching positively by creating excitement
and action.
References
Carbonneau, N., Vallerand, R., Fernet, C., Guay, F. (2008). The Role of Passion for Teaching in
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Day, C. (2004). A Passion for Teaching. London: Routledge Falmer.
Fink, L.D. (2003). Creating Significant Learning Experiences. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
Fox, R. (1964). The “Committed” Teacher. Educational leadership. Retrieved
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Fried, R. (2001). The Passionate Teacher: A Practical Guide. Boston: Beacon Press.
Hansen, D.T. (1995). The Call to Teach. New York: Teachers College Press.
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