Education should be inspirational. It’s a lot of hard work to learn – lots of lessons, lots of falling and scraping your knee before you learn how to walk. That’s true with everything new – baby steps at first, eventually leading to leaps and bounds. What we don’t talk about enough in schools is how to keep going when it gets tough. There seems to always be an insinuation at every level of education that the goal of every student is to be the best, get the highest grades, make the most impressive presentations, win the most prestigious awards, but not much talk about the important stuff – the point of learning.
Some teachers try to get students thinking in this direction by asking them to think about what kind of learners they are. However, unless you understand learning theories and know how to analyze your survey results and actually apply them to your life, these sorts of exercises are usually just abstract multiple choice games. Before asking the learner to reflect on what kind of learner they are, how about helping them understand why they’ve chosen to learn something in the first place.
I don’t know if I would have chosen to go to business school if I were to go through my under-grad again. Of course, the choices about my past that I would make now are irrelevent because I’m a different person whose gone through many experiences that have molded my perceptions. But I think the point I want to make is that I don’t think that, knowing what I know now, I would necessarily choose the ‘most marketable’ program of study. Perhaps I would expand my mind and my imagination and choose to study something that stimulated my inner passions rather than my desire for future wealth and prosperity. After all, money in the name of money becomes quite an empty goal in life.
So, back to inspiration. If we don’t have inspiration to learn, learning won’t take place. At least, not the learning that counts. Not the learning that enables the student to carry knowledge with them throughout their lives, build upon it layer by layer and cultivate a perspective of wisdom that will eventually enrich the world. Anybody can learn how to memorize facts for a test, but WHO CARES about your scores in the end? Yes, I know. The universities you’re trying to get into care about your scores. I know. The world we live in won’t compensate you just because you are inspired. But…what if we put more energy into figuring out what we love to do and a bit less into following the herd?
In case you need some, here is a little inspiration for you…
From: Virtually Scholastic