Is It Education or Learning?
We hear a lot about the failings of the education systems of the modern world. A large part of the failings, I believe, are that the present systems are geared toward instruction (including a large portion of indoctrination), and not toward learning. Learning is something we all do every day of our lives, whether we realize it or not. Instruction, or being taught, can have value if the learner is open to the instruction, but is useless if the learner has no interest, or only a little interest. Quite simply, we are open to instruction if the subject matter interests us.
Being told that we must learn English for this 45 minutes, and math for the next 45 minutes, followed by science, or history, is a poor way of learning. In this situation, if you have an interest in history, for example, then 45 minutes is hardly enough time to delve into the subject that interests you.
I liked, and was good at, history and math, while I disliked science and only had some interest in English, yet, I was a voracious reader of classic books and many Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning authors. I couldn’t care less what the parts of speech were in the sentences I was reading. I understood what was being said and fully enjoyed being transported to the author’s world. (Just as a side note, my Mother was an English teacher.)
The simple fact is, that we all learn best dealing with a subject we enjoy. Now, if I enjoy the books of Ernest Hemingway, I might want to learn more about the Spanish Civil War, as he was there, and wrote vividly about it. This is how learning progresses. One thing leads to another. It is not about this is 4th period on Tuesday so we will teach science class. Learning is not the same as instruction/teaching. Learning is something deeper, and far more important.
Below are some videos, (surprisingly, all of them TedTalks), about homeschooling and the act of learning.
How will I educate my children – Joshua Steimle
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How School Makes Kids Less Intelligent – Eddy Zhong
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What if students controlled their own learning? – Peter Hutton
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