I have a few fundamental beliefs about education and learning:
- The purposes of learning are:
- To empower individual self-understanding and self-expression
- To facilitate understanding of context through social interaction
- To prepare the citizen for active and positive participation in civil society
- To improve human understanding across personal, family, cultural, ethnic, linguistic, religious, national, and political divides.
- To have fun.
- "Education" is a double-pronged term
- It can connote that long process imposed upon persons from childhood, using selective learning as a tool to encourage conformity, to fit the individual for productive contribution to society in the form of work (so that s/he does not become a burden), and to corral youth and young adults in dedicated spaces so that adults can go about the business of productive work.
- It can also connote that which is both a privilege and an entitlement to all human beings, a lifelong journey through a set of structures and/or anti-structures moderated by committed more-informed others whom the learner ultimately joins as part of a learned and learning community. It is a non-linear, open-ended pathway to the benefits of learning outlined above.
- To continue testing, adjusting, and adding nuance and clarity to my beliefs about learning and education through engagement with course materials and coursemates;
- To understand the meaning, nature, modalities, characteristics, benefits and drawbacks of open education and see what's there:
- Are there new modes of learning that may encourage the second connotation of education to strengthen and the first connotation to recede?
- Are there new assumptions about learning that may inspire youth and adults seeking education, while at the same time helping them find productive roles in society -- roles that they themselves help define?
- Are there new sources of learning that may help heal the tattered relationship between learners and teachers by resituating both as fellow travelers in a shared pursuit, thereby laying low the power imbalance that so distorts the matter of learning how to think?
- To continue to deconstruct my own assumptions about what kind of education, the second connotation, makes for the widest and best quality of participation in civil society (which is a myth, but I use the term for rhetorical purposes);
- To learn how to lengthen, deepen, and add more branches to my own learning journey;
- To continue building the learning network I began developing when I participated in the EDCmooc;
- To peer into the future and see what shape learning and education may take there.
- To have fun.