As a classroom teacher, the learning which one experiences on a regular basis is largely composed of information one knows will ultimately be dumped. A teacher is primarily tasked with retaining knowledge of students that may aid in personalizing their learning experience. It is a challenging thing to develop a relationship with one student such that a teacher might understand the student’s strengths and weaknesses, the motivators which will drive the student, and the methods through which to assist the student in their learning; it is monumental to do it with more than one hundred students simultaneously.
In this sense, the learning of a classroom teacher is environmentally regulated. The necessities of sound instruction and the cyclical nature of the school system demand it.
From a professional learning perspective, the majority of learning is managed organizationally, hierarchically, and unilaterally. The school board sets a vision and mission, administrators refine operational parameters within that vision and then orchestrate professional learning for teachers. They dictate what needs to be learned, when it needs to be learned, and sometimes how it needs to be learned. Of course, in the best of schools there is at least lip service to the value of personal professional development, but it always takes a back seat to perceived value to the organization’s vision.