Do you feel like you've been on a hamster wheel since the 2020s started? Ready to convert to a flywheel? The key is becoming an enduring learner. It isn't comfortable, but it's time.
The reaction for most is to resist, push back, or wait to "get back to normal". We're taught in school (as students and educators), that answers are the goal. What if instead, we built habits of patience, curiosity, and inquiry?
Why doesn't this "stick" in school? What must we do to influence change?
"School" should be about learning - for us all, and for life.
As Eric Sheninger writes in Disruptive Thinking in Our Classrooms (2021), "The conditions that impact and influence learning have and will continue to evolve" (10). How can adults and students become enduring learners?
Adult learners must commit to becoming enduring learners as we expect students to do so. Adults who are enduring learners practice:
thoughtful lesson design and implementation.
How can I embrace learning differently as I expect students to do so?
Here are three actions adults can take to become enduring learners:
Action 1: Be aware of opportunities and open to invitations to learn.
We're surrounded by learning opportunities, whether or not we realize it.
We don't need to have all the answers. Rather, asking questions builds confidence and strengthens our ability to learn. Where are these opportunities for adults in our learning spaces? Where are the yet-to-be extended or accepted invitations to learn?
Action 2: Share what you know, are learning, and want to learn.
Teachers and administrators have long been looked to, for answers.
The 2020's changed all of that when we were faced with more questions than we had answers. Instead of fighting our way back to having answers, what if adult learners embraced curiosity and experimentation for all?
Action 3: Be intentional with designing learning experiences.
By now you're either inspired to act or are thinking, "Where do I begin?"
Take a breath; this is within our control. It begins with what great teachers do best: Plan with intention and build from a place of learning. We're among our best teachers: our students and one another. Making space for meaningful feedback provides us with valuable information. Being receptive to learning, sharing what we're most curious to learn, and asking more questions, will help us become enduring learners. And so will our students.
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