On the future of education

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Motto: “The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn – and change.” (Carl Rogers)

I’m a structured learner. I admit it. I like engorging information, reflecting upon it, and structuring it mentally or on paper. But it is only when I manage to enrich that information with something new, with an additional original thought, to move forward and share/discuss/debate that new understanding with others, that I feel real learning has taken place. And I get a kick out of that.

I did very good in formal education until I became an adult and realized there are so many more ways to learn and move forward. Now I enjoy handpicking my classes, without necessarily pursuing a degree, challenging myself to face new situations, looking at things and people from different perspectives. I guess I’m constructing my own meaning and purpose for learning now. My children have taught me to learn and think about learning in different ways.

There are four types and four theories of learning: cognitive, behavioral, social, humanist. Four reasons why we learn. We learn to know, we learn to do, we learn to live together and we learn to be.

And there are many styles of learning, too. We learn by memorizing and reflecting (abstract learning), we learn by observing (seeing, hearing, touching), we learn by doing and applying, we learn through emotional experiences sometimes. We learn skills, but we also learn wisdom, critical thinking, a better understanding – of ourselves, of others, of the world at large.

I believe in lifelong learning. In this constant moving forward. Not as a compulsory course of formal education, but as a kind of openness to growth and a willingness to open up to new things. Learning is change, the willingness and the ability to understand more and perhaps even overhaul one’s convictions. I believe that is both the present and the future of education.

As I’ve just read in a great book, “what if, in our universe, there is a possibility of becoming that which we aren’t yet…”? (Muriel Barbery – L’élégance du hérisson).

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