Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Learning in Our Everyday Lives

Mr. Fisch's blog post today about how we can go the extra mile, so to speak, in our learning really got me thinking. I commented about how sometimes I would consider going back and commenting on the blog and trying to do research, but I either didn't have the time or the energy (or both) to do it, so I wouldn't. However, that made me feel really guilty. Not all teenagers have the opportunities that we do here at Arapahoe and we should be taking advantage of them. So I started to think (partly to re-deem myself in my eyes) about the difference between learning and school-work. School-work can be exactly that; work. Work isn't always that fun and most often we just try to get through it without taking the time to reflect on what it's trying to teach us. Even if teenagers were finally able to snap out of their age-old custom of slacking off in school (seriously - how many of you reading this right now haven't, at one point in your education, found yourself slacking off in class? Didn't think so), not many of them would really, realistically, want to devote all their time to learning. To do that, they would have to stop spending time with friends, playing sports, and doing other extra-curricular activities. Or, they could change their mind set on learning. They could, instead, take every opportunity in their life as a learning experience. They could start to change the way they thought about work. Work, by definition (courtesy of Answers. com), only means to put time and effort into achieving a goal. That doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

So my question to you is this; Do you agree with what I've said above? Why or why not? I really think this could bring up an interesting discussion on how our society views education, so feel free to comment on anything changing-education related that you want. Whether or not you agree, would you be willing to change your mindset and thinking about school and education? Why/why not? How? What obstacles stand in your way? How do you think we, as students and learners, could get around such obstacles?


mattw said...

It did make me feel guilty too. I admit that I avoid doing many things just because "I don't have the energy...". I do think that you don't have to be in school to learn (and I don't mean learn pi while your at church or something), buy take things away from your life experiences. I don't know anyone who would rather learn all their life instead of being with friends or loved ones.
I would try to change my mindset, but in today's world, you can't make a living with life experiences.
I think since we are always being told that we are SO much more educated than children in other countries, that we feel no need to improve further. We have "better things to do anyway".
I dunno. this comment in continuously making less sense, so I'll stop here.

Thanks MW.....

katyj said...

hey morgan-- your post really got me thinking, especailly the part about the real defintion of work, I thought that that was very interesting. I know that teenagers are usually dispirited when it comes to school, unless it is their off period or lunch (like seriously, how many of you have not, at one time or another,said that lunch was your favorite period of the day?), but i have to say that while i dont jump out of bed every day at 5:30 shouting "Hooray for school", i am not disgusted by the thought of learning new things. I think that it is fun to learn stuff, because who knows when you will need to know it. And furthermore, when has a little hard work ever killed anybody? It is good to do a little haprd work sometimes, because if we didn't we would never get anything done. So i think that our society has a very skewed view on education. Kids in many third world countries would kill for the chance to get an education, especially girls. But here kids say things like i wish that there was no school because they don't understand how lucky we actually are.
i should stop now, because i have kind of lost track of where this post started. Oops.

johnb said...

You know, I would not put it as teenagers do not devote their life to learning because it would take time away from other things. People are always learning, no matter what they are doing. Now, it is a reasonable statement that teenagers do not want to devote their entire life to school, even though school has already consumes life, but think about it this way: does any person wish to spend every moment of their life focused on one thing.

About work: I know, in Physics, the equation involving work states that one does work only when one has gone a distance. So, it does not matter if you put 10 joules or 1,000,000 joules of energy into something, if you have not gone any distance, you have done no work. I believe the definition provided makes a lot of sense, and the path to the goal trying to be achieved can be easier or more difficult depending on how much one is motivated.

stephenf said...

Morgan- I think we should think of learning at all times. Whether we realize it or not are brains are functioning and processing all the time anyway. When you brought up slacking, I probably blushed. I do or did slack off a lot. I just did the work and didn't care about the learning. Now I have really changed that view, in that we are being tought for a reason. We go to school not to get us out of our homes but to really learn. A pretty radical concept I know.

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