The future I would love to create…together
If you could create the future, what would you choose to do?
For me, I would really love to add a subject to our curriculum called LEARNING.
In this subject, students would develop an awareness of how they learn so they are able to control their own actions that help, hinder or harm their learning.
Students would not only learn content, rather develop their own ability to learn so they could be more self-directed and less reliant on others to teach them.
The fundamentals of how humans learn would be taught explicitly, not as part of another subject.
In this subject, educators would provide guidance to support learners to experience the pleasure and value of learning for them.
And we would start as early as we possibly could.
Why the ability to learn matters
The reason I would do this is that I wholeheartedly believe the ability to learn is the fundamental skill that gives birth to all of what we become capable of doing throughout our lives. The ability to learn is one of the most important gifts I can give to my children because it gives them greater control over their future. It gives them more power to choose how they live their lives. I want this for my children and I imagine most people would want that for theirs.
The Learning outcomes
As a result of participating in the subject “Learning”, students would be able to direct their own learning in the future and be more capable of learning what they choose…themselves. They would:
- determine the outcomes they want to achieve
- make the plans to achieve it
- implement those plans
- reflect on their outcomes
- continually make adjustments to enhance their knowledge and skills over time.
This would give them the power to see each day as a learning opportunity and make learning part of life, not something separate.
Some of the topics would be
- How learning empowers you to take control of your future
- The mind, body, spirit connection and how it influences learning
- The biology of the brain in determining who we are and what we do
- The importance of self-regulation for learning and how to develop it
- Simple techniques that make learning easier, more enjoyable and more effective.
Some of the techniques would include:
- Using food to optimise the brain and body
- Using stress to our advantage
- Breathing techniques to instantly alter how we are feeling
- How to be happier more often (and cope when we can’t be)
- Using all our senses for learning
- Balancing our energy to optimise our outcomes.
Why this matters to me
As a Mum to four beautiful humans, I would do anything to give them a happy life.
I know that the world is constantly changing and that what they learn at school and university will not sustain them for their lives. They need the ability to anticipate the future and prepare themselves to be part of it.
They need to be able to determine what matters to them and do it to the best of their ability. This is because when work is meaningful, they are more likely to see value in what they do and this will enrich their lives. Ideally, their work will be enjoyable and the effort and struggles will be worth it because the end goal is important to them.
All this is possible if they have the ability to learn.
Who can benefit
In my vision, I see many potential benefits for:
By empowering students with greater choice over the way they learn we can:
- increase engagement as students are more likely to choose activities they enjoy and be more motivated to participate
- improve outcomes because students are more likely to actively engage their brain which is essential for learning
- support students to discover key areas of interest they can explore more deeply
- enable students to choose career paths based on their passion and purpose
- provide a more positive learning experience that can nurture a lifelong love of learning.
When students take greater responsibility for the learning activities they complete, teachers can:
- transition from the role of instructor and content deliverer to more personalised coaching where students are guided to resources that are most relevant for them that they are able to interact with to enhance their learning
- further develop their own subject matter expertise so they can provide relevant feedback and further direction for deliberate practice and deeper learning experiences that are more meaningful and rewarding
- take pleasure in knowing they are expanding the opportunities for students to lead rich lives where they contribute to the world around them.
When students take greater responsibility for the learning activities they complete, parents and carers can:
- take comfort in knowing their child is more engaged, finding learning more enjoyable and that the time and effort invested is likely to be more effective
- feel less responsible for encouraging their child to learn
- engage in meaningful conversations with their child about their learning rather than hassling them to participate in it
- have a level of comfort knowing that your child is more likely to find a career they are passionate about that will lead to a more fulfilling life.
- attract, develop and retain work-ready individuals who are able to anticipate the future and be prepared for it
- create the future rather than respond to what occurs
- optimise one of the organisation’s most valuable assets – it’s people.
What I can do
As much as I would love to make the dream of a subject called ‘Learning’ part of our curriculum, I realise I am unlikely to be able to make that happen.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t still make a difference.
Instead, I established the Holistic Learning Hub.
My vision is to help anyone enhance their ability to learn. Because we never stop learning throughout our lives. Whether we are students, teachers, parents and careers or in the workplace, there are simple ways we can enhance learning for ourselves or those we care about.
What I can do is make learning more simple by providing tools, resources and experiences for people to discover the power they have to control their own learning and therefore future.
Because your future is my future and my children’s future.
And when we all contribute to something bigger than ourselves…we all benefit.