I recently participated in a meeting for the EdCan Network, part of the Canadian Education Association, in Mississauga. I knew we’d be talking about some heavy issues regarding education in Ontario, especially K-12 education. I spent my time on the flights down and back writing some thoughts I’d been wrestling with. I’m planning to share those thoughts in small posts for a little while. Here’s the first entry.
Learning is not about acquiring knowledge and skills. You’re learning whenever something is changing you. It can be intentional, accidental, or incidental.
Learning can be good, bad, or neutral. Learning to be accepting of others is usually good. Learning to abuse power is generally bad. Learning to factor quadratic expressions is probably neutral.
Learning doesn’t have to be permanent, although it’s not fleeting (because then it hasn’t changed you). Skills can fade, knowledge can be forgotten, and new understandings can supplant old ideas.
If school education is only about the narrow, curriculum-knowledge-and-skills learning, it’s missing the richest and most valuable kind of learning.