I believe that children, when they first enter school, are natural learners. Children are self-motivated to learn through the daily activities that they are involved in. This, I believe, is the key to continued learning. Students must be involved in the classroom and in the activities that take place in that environment.
The classroom should be a continuation of the world the world for which they are familiar. It is necessary to expose students to new information and expand their "World" in a safe, risk-free environment. This setting will allow students to express their individuality without fear of ridicule.
As a whole, children have shown that their development follows a predictable path. This has been charted by such experts as Piaget (Theory of Intellectual Development), and Erikson (Theory of Personal and Social Development). Again, it is necessary to note that as individuals, students will follow the same developmental path, but will do so at their own pace.
Because student development is not uniform it is important to bring to light the damage that competition can have on most students in your classroom. While the top few students may thrive on the activities that reward the pupil who is done first or performs the most tasks, the majority of the class will be turned off by such procedures. A better way to approach education is to promote the idea of community within the classroom. In this setting, students are encouraged to work together and help each other reach their individual potential. This feeling of community will provide students an environment which encourages risk taking, whereas the competitive classroom intimidates and discourages the majority of students.
To further the feeling of a community, the students should be involved in the decision making process. Helping to set classroom policy has shown to be an effective way to better students behavior and increase participation. The material that is being taught will have more meaning fro students if they are allowed to express their personal interests and then see them incorporated into the lessons.
By involving students in all aspects of classroom operation and encouraging cooperation, a community can be developed. As long as children continue to feel a part of the community they will strive to remain in that environment. I belive this is the foundation of a life-log learner.