EDUCATION AND LEARNING
Education is a social science that encompasses teaching and learning specific knowledge, beliefs, and skills.
Licensed and practicing teachers in the field use a variety of methods and materials in order to impart a curriculum. There has been a plethora of journals, magazines, books, and digests in the field of education that addresses these areas. Such literature addresses the teaching practices, with subjects that include lectures, game playing, testing, scheduling, record keeping, bullying, seating arrangements, interests, motivation, and computer access.
However, the most important factors in any teacher's effectiveness is the interaction with students and personality of the teacher.
The quality of their relationships provides the impetus for inspiration. The best teachers are able to translate good judgment, experience, and wisdom into the art of communication that students find compelling. It is their ability to understand and overcome prejudices, generate passion, and recognize potential that enable teachers to invigorate students with higher expectations of themselves and society at large.
The goal is aiding the growth of students so that they become productive members of a migratory society. An imparting of culture from generation to generation (see socialization) promotes a greater awareness and responsiveness through social maturity to the needs of an increasingly diversified global society.
"I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc." - Stanley Kubrick
The goal of education is the transference of ideas and skills from one to one, one to many, many to many and many to one with the possible high transfer rate and volume of knowledge under the possible shortest time duration at any place and circumstance.
Current education issues include which teaching method(s) are most effective, how to determine what knowledge should be taught, which knowledge is most relevant, and how well the pupil will retain incoming knowledge. Educators such as George Counts and Paulo Freire identified education as an inherently political process with inherently political outcomes. The challenge of identifying whose ideas are transferred and what goals they serve has always stood in the face of formal and informal education.
In addition to the "Three R's", reading, writing, and arithmetic, Western primary and secondary schools attempt to teach the basic knowledge of history, geography, mathematics (usually including calculus and algebra), physics, chemistry and sometimes politics, in the hope that students will retain and use this knowledge as they age or that the skills acquired will be transferrable. The current education system measures competency with tests and assignments and then assigns each student a corresponding grade. The grades usually come in the form of either a letter grade or a percentage, which are intended to represent the amount of all material presented in class that the student understood.
Educational progressives or advocates of "unschooling" often believe that grades do not necessarily reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a student, and that there is an unfortunate lack of youth voice in the educative process. Some feel the current grading system lowers students' self-confidence, as students may receive poor marks due to factors outside their control. Such factors include poverty, child abuse, and prejudiced or incompetent teachers.
By contrast, many advocates of a more traditional or "back to basics" approach believe that the direction of reform needs to be the opposite. Students are not inspired or challenged to achieve success because of the dumbing down of the curriculum and the replacement of the "canon" with inferior material. Their view of self-confidence is that it arises not from removing hurdles such as grading, but by making them fair and encouraging students to gain pride from knowing they can jump over these hurdles.
On the one hand, Albert Einstein, the most famous physicist of the twentieth century, credited with helping us understand the universe better, was not a model school student. He was uninterested in what was being taught, and he did not attend classes all the time. However, his gifts eventually shone through and added to the sum of human knowledge. On the other hand, for millennia those who have been challenged and well-educated in traditional schools have risen to great success and to a lifelong love of learning because their minds were made better and more powerful, as well as because of their mastery of a wide range of skills.
Learning is the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values, through study, experience, or teaching, that causes a change of behavior that is persistent, measurable, and specified or allows an individual to formulate a new mental construct or revise a prior mental construct (conceptual knowledge such as attitudes or values). It is a process that depends on experience and leads to long-term changes in behavior potential. Behavior potential describes the possible behavior of an individual (not actual behavior) in a given situation in order to achieve a goal. But potential is not enough; if individual learning is not periodically reinforced, it becomes shallower and shallower, and eventually is lost in that individual.
Short term changes in behavior potential, such as fatigue, do not constitute learning. Some long-term changes in behavior potential result from aging and development, rather than learning.
Learning is sense making that enables manifestation of purpose.
Education is the conscious attempt to promote learning in others. The primary function of "teaching" is to create a safe, viable, productive learning environment. Management of the total learning environment to promote enhance and motivate learning is a paradigm shift from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning.
Respect the subject: Approach all things with respect, humility, and a willingness to learn and great things can be achieved.
Firm Foundations: Start at the start. Don't skip or cheat because you won't be able to understand the next stage if you miss a level.
Steady and Practice: Start simple and build up confidence gradually. Soon you will be doing things that you could only previously dream of.
Integrate your learning.
Be sure you UNDERSTAND the subject.
Gradual improvement: Rome was not built in a day. Improvement takes time, effort, and regular application/practice.
The Art of Tuning In
There is, in nature, a law of resistance which states that "for every force there is an equal yet opposite force."
In every area of life, it is better - if possible - not to force anything. It is far more preferable to "TUNE IN" to every area of life. This is so true in the area of learning.
It is good to TUNE IN to the subject matter. To familiarize and acquaint oneself with the area. To respect the area and to not be afraid of approaching the whole subject.
Every journey begins with small steps.
Learning, growing, understanding, and gaining experience always involves making mistakes. We cannot learn without making mistakes. The trick is to learn from our mistakes and try not to make the same error again.
Because making mistakes is a natural part of life, then we really need to know how to forgive ourselves and others. Forgiveness is an essential tool for life - without it we will quickly fill up with bitterness, envy, jealousy, anger, disappointment, and hatred. We have to know how to forgive ourselves and others for all life's mistakes.
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