Learning is a way of life and it is not restricted to take place in school. Learning happens wherever we are because we are alive and learning is what we continue to do. True learning is useful: being able to translate theory into actions that improves the lives of others.
I hope we are not sending the wrong message that learning is exclusive to schools. And that if we fail in school, we are stupid and would not be successful in life. We always think students fail school but not that schools failed these kids. I hope we continue to empower the learners and let them know that they could be their own teachers and that they are capable of learning in and out of the classroom and be relevant to the society. I suggest we redefine success for the youth. Success should not merely mean individual success but something that benefits the rest of the society. We should ask not what our students want to be when they grow up but what problems they would like to solve.
There are numerous ways an individual can get educated without going to school. I can imagine how people ‘learned’ before the institution of formal education in the world. But first, an individual must first admit to himself/herself his/her ignorance, then, willingness to learn and openness to new experience must follow. Why? because many external things can take place to contribute/facilitate but if the internal compass is not ready to recognize and navigate, no learning could take place. One this is established an individual can learn from the ff:
- Family members- As humans we learned to use language not in school but at home first! Language is just but one thing we can learn at home. Our mother, father, siblings etc in their own are rich in experiences and skills which we can learn.
- Friends – Through dialogue with friends coming from different background (Health practitioners, artists etc) we can learn a big deal from them. Moreso, if we watch them do their stuff, we can definitely learn something from the experience
- Community – If we look closer around our community, we can observe how people do their work and be able to learn from them. If they allow, we can be ‘interns’ and train under their guidance.
- Internet – A lot of information are available in the internet, from Farming to Cosmetology. You can learn by watching videos (Vimeo or Youtube), visiting DIY websites or enrolling in MOOCs.
- Nature – Observing nature can help us discover and learn interactions that happens int he natural world and more importantly the interdependence of everything
- Books/Journals – through books, one can travel in space and time. It can widen our understanding of the world. Reading different subjects, news, etc allow us gain knowledge about people, places, things etc.