September 6, 2016

There’s more to Learn

The Big Think presented a video of the Global Education and Skills Forum in 2014. At this meeting, Bill Clinton was asked “what is the most important thing you have ever learned?” His answer was...

“the most important thing I’ve ever learned is there’s more to learn.”


One of my top ten TED Talks is by Adora Svitak and is entitled What Adults can Learn from Kids. 
She states, “for better or worse, we kids aren't hampered as much when it comes to thinking about reasons why not to do things. Kids can be full of inspiring aspirations and hopeful thinking.”

She then asks a question that resonates with me, and makes me feel truly inspired even still. Her question was “how many of you [adults] still dream like that, and believe in the possibilities?” I had to ask myself, “do I?” The truth is that when I first watched this video, about 5 years ago, I did not. Well, I dreamed. I am a creative writer, so I am always dreaming about something. But, what was I dreaming about and what possibilities could I see that were going to make a difference? None.

You can watch the full video here:



Then, I met a special group of students who changed everything. I have written about them in a previous post. I thought about Adora’s talk and when she said “kids already do a lot of learning from adults, and we have a lot to share. I think that adults should start learning from kids. Now, I do most of my speaking in front of an education crowd -- teachers and students, and I like this analogy: It shouldn't be a teacher at the head of the class, telling students, "Do this, do that." The students should teach their teachers. Learning between grown-ups and kids should be reciprocal.”

I think this was the beginning of my reflective practices as a teacher. I started planning stages into my lessons where students would teach. Students would design tasks and evaluations. I thought this was great, and I was so proud of what they could accomplish. But, when I started suggesting this with my colleagues, I felt resistance. I remember a teacher telling me “oh, my students can’t do that.” My response was “have you tried?” I felt defeated. 

People like to be challenged, and they want to rise to the occasion. If you build an atmosphere of trust and encouragement, anything is possible. I believe that this is what transformed my class into something bigger than me.  As a result, I grew out of my class and grew into a bigger role. 

I have made claims on this blog that I am addicted to learning. Some of the benefits of lifelong learning, as mentioned by the Professional Academy are why I have this addiction. These include, but
are not limited to:
  • helping us adapt to change
  • helping make new friends
  • keeping us involved in society
  • helping us find meaning in our lives
  • leading to an enriching life of self-fulfillment
The article from The Skills you Need states: “schooling’ is only one type of learning. There are many other opportunities to further your knowledge and develop the skills you need throughout life. Knowledge can be acquired and skill-sets developed anywhere – learning is unavoidable and happens all the time.  However, lifelong learning is about creating and maintaining a positive attitude to learning both for personal and professional development. Lifelong learners are motivated to learn and develop because they want to: it is a deliberate and voluntary act. Lifelong learning can enhance our understanding of the world around us, provide us with more and better opportunities and improve our quality of life.”


So, here are some field related sources to keep you busy for an hour a day:

VIDEOS

The Importance of Learning. Learning WhatExactly? By Daniels Pavļuts at TEDxRegina

How to Find your Passion and Inner Awesomeness By Eugene Hennie  at TEDxMMU


The Future of Lifelong Learning Infographic

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