Social and Personal, Not Standardized

Think of all the things you know. This is a strange request, I know, but think about it anyways. You know not to touch a hot stove, how to use a phone book, that here in America we drive on the right side of the road and so many other things. Now think about where you learned all these things. Was it in school or in life? For most of us, a large portion of what we know was learned in life – and there’s nothing wrong with that – but it’s time to start learning life in school.

The George Couros article we read was filled with ideas comparing and contrasting school and learning. There were two lines that stuck out the most to me; “School often isolates. Learning is often social.” and “School is standardized. Learning is personal.” Stopping to think about the first concept here, I realized I usually dreaded any sort of group assignment I had ever been assigned. In school my goals have always been associated with grades and often the thought of depending on classmates for a grade frustrated me. Rarely did I learn anything in a group project (other than who to trust). Now I realize if I had focused less on getting the highest score possible and more on learning from my classmates, I would have probably enjoyed tasks likes these a bit more. My train of thought on the next topic stops at all the same stations. We have put so much pressure on kids’ grades that they forget to learn along the way. In school, we expect everyone to learn the same information. In life, not every needs to know, or should, learn the same information. I’m glad my mechanic learned all about car parts and how to repair them, but, personally, I would find this topic boring and complicated. I know he personally enjoys what he does and that’s what truly matters; being able to take your personal learning and use it to help others.

I still believe there are somethings everyone needs to learn in school. Now teachers need to help students take these basics and use them to learn everywhere in life.

Now it’s time to take the ‘versus’ out of school vs. learning and replace it with an ‘and’.


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