Remaining open to continuous learning
What does it mean?
Seeking new challenges and learning opportunities. Understanding that on even the topics you know most that there is still much more to discover. Viewing education as an essential and integral part of life.
Why does it matter?
It is all about having a positive attitude towards education and learning. If you have an inquisitive mind, if you want to know more about the world about you, if you ask big questions then you will have a fuller, richer life for it. There are also the very real benefits to society that comes from those who seek to expand our understanding, create works of great beauty and inspire others.
When should you use it?
The answer is in the title 'Continuous', so use it always and never stop. Learning should not be confined to the classrooms and certainly not to the years you spend at school.
In this scene from 'Dead Poet's Society' Mr Keating challenges his students to actively engage in their learning and to throw away ideas that restrict personal engagement with ideas that matter in favour of rote learning. He urges his students to be passionate and ultimately to contribute their verse to the powerful play that is life.
5 Top Strategies:
- Describe yourself as a student and as a learner
- Ask questions and seek new knowledge and deeper understandings
- Find and value people who can be mentors, be one yourself when you can
- Read - Read fiction, non-fiction, poetry, blogs, twitter, watch films and documentary all with a desire to learn more
- Seek opportunities for formal learning in areas that you are passionate about and share what you know with others, find a voice for your ideas
5 Questions to ask about your thinking:
- What is next? What do I already know and where can I take my learning from here?
- What are you passionate about? How can you learn more about it? Who are the experts that can challenge and inspire you?
- Do I understand this topic or do I know about this topic? Can you apply what you know to new situations?
- When did you last learn something completely new?
- Do you have an open mind to new ideas? What makes you say that?
Thinking Routines for Taking Responsible Risks
- I used to think. . . Now I think . . . - Use this routine to make visible how your thinking has changed over the course of a learning experience. Then go beyond by describing What made you change your thinking?How did this change occur? What new learning have you achieved?
- Headlines - Write a headline as you find on a newspaper that shows your understanding of an experience now and when you first encountered it. What has changed from these two moments in time? How has your knowledge and understanding expanded as a result of you continuous learning? What is the next step?
- Connect, Extend, Challenge - How are the ideas presented Connected to what you already know? What new ideas are presented that Extend what you know? What is still Challenging you and where does your learning journey go next?