“Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself” – John Dewey
So where do schools fit in with this concept? Do we need schools so we can be educated?
During last year’s lockdown, learning was delivered online, and parents became their teachers. Our most recent and very sudden lockdown happened so fast, that schools have not yet had the time to deliver the laptops to the students. Overnight the population were in Level 4 – locked down with no access to schools – but there is still education and learning.
Looking at my grandchildren’s experiences last year, it appeared that the learning was vastly different yet somehow more holistic. They learned science through numerous baking experiments, social skills through having to share the dining table to do their schoolwork, and they learnt to work together peacefully ( well most of the time).
‘Knowledge is a process, not a product” – Ruth Nanda Anshen
Its all about the process – As an early childhood educator, I adhered to this notion of the importance of the process (free unstructured play) over the product. As educational institutions became more prioritised on standardized tests to assess educational outcomes at the expense of dispositional learning, it sucked the joy out of teaching for the love of learning.
Leaving the pressures of formalised education behind on retirement, it still took me several years to regain my love of lifelong learning based on my passions, interests and strengths.
So one day I started playing again. Exploring my repressed energies and setting free my creativity through art. I began putting my fingers into the paint as it were… Am I in my second childhood already? Yes and No. Whatever it may be, I am enjoying my creative processes again.
“ To be able to be caught up into the world of thought- that is to be educated” Edith Hamilton
To think or not to think – therein lies the learning… I’m still thinking, and I’m still learning. And it is still fun. The best part is that I am sharing this sense of fun. achievement and the learning of new skills with my granddaughter via FaceTime or text messages now we are in lockdown again.
“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way” – Doris Lessing