I’ve heard many of my own students, and indeed adults, say things along the lines of “I haven’t learnt anything from x” or “I don’t feel like I learn anything here.”. Until recently I hadn’t reflected on this at all, but I found myself feeling confused whilst discussing this with an adult. We had been discussing their training; they circled unconvincingly around their apparent dissatisfaction at their current training and began to explain how they felt they weren’t learning anything. It left me thinking; isn’t our learning our responsibility?
I spend most of the day equipping students with skills that I hope will lead them to a lifetime of learning, or at least leave them with a core of curiosity that may drive them to some discoveries about the world or even themselves (optimistic right?).
What I have realized is that we, as adults, need to be accountable for continuing our own learning despite the input we have from coaches, instructors, lecturers or anyone that may be directing us towards new information. I hate to make prescriptions -and I rarely make any here -but in my opinion it is imperative that we hold ourselves accountable for broadening our own understanding of the world around us. Unless we make learning a priority, force ourselves to embark down the path of discovery, we will be forever stuck in a state of mental stasis (a fixed mindset).
Even the best teachers can only show us the way to new information, we have to be the ones to follow the path they have shown us. Of course, there are bad teachers out there, but that should not prevent us from learning in an age where information is so readily accessible thanks to technology.
The truth of the matter is simple; if we want to improve as people, we have to be accountable for our own learning. Firstly, it is important to understand that we don’t have all the answers, no one does. Secondly, never be satisfied with your current level of understanding, even in subjects you feel well versed in. And lastly, stay curious and learn to enjoy learning new things.
We have the potential to learn from everything and everyone, as well as being a potential learning opportunity for someone else. We have to learn to recognize this and make the most of it if we want to develop and grow as people.