Last week in my blog I posted an article on, Where is The Revolution In Education?
A reader posted it on his Facebook site looking for discussion. One reader wrote back:
==We need to build a positive culture that encourages students to become lifelong learners. It is the job of both parents and teachers to do this. ==
The responder wrote:
``People are born lifelong learners. They know how to learn and can play a crucial, if not lead, role in building a positive culture. I don't like how the author is focusing on young people needing adults for learning and positive culture to exist.``
When this was first shared with me I was of mixed reaction. The first was she is absolutely correct. Children are lifelong learners from birth. The second was that her knowledge of the implications of lifelong learning was a bit skewed.
Lifelong learning is indeed something every child is born with. However the things that get in the way of this lifelong learning often obscure or discourage children from following up on their ideas and dreams. This discouragement comes from the power the adults exercise over the children. This power is in the words the adults choose and the things they say to children. Every day I watch adults speak to children in ways they would never speak to other adults. Condescension, sarcasm, and arguing: in essence doing things that sow doubt and mistrust are happening every day. Adults rarely recognize they do this. It has become so pervasive that it is not given a second thought. All these things take a bite out of lifelong learning. All send a message that the thoughts and feelings of children are not valuable.
Children will be lifelong learners as long as those who are in supporting roles are encouraging children with positive feedback in a non-threatening way. The children are capable of exponential growth under the right conditions. Adults play a vital role in this. We all need to do our part to encourage this growth. Are you doing your part?