Trust The Children

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's All About You! #2

I want to recommend a book for parents of home schoolers to read. This book isn't about home schooling. It's about parents who want to be an example of life long learning. In the last post, I brought up Covey's pyramid of influence. It says that the base of the pyramid is example. So if a parent wants more influence with a child, you at least know where to begin. We begin with example, how we live, what we value, what our actions teach our children day in and day out even when we don't say a word.

The book title is, "The Meaning of Adult Education" by Eduard C. Lindeman.

Here are a few quotes from the first chapter:

"Youth educated in terms of adult ideas and taught to think of learning as a process which ends when real life begins will make no better use of intelligence than the elders who prescribe the sysem." p. 3

"From many quarters comes the call to a new kind of education with its initial assumption affirming the education is life - not a mere preparation for an unknown kind of future living." p. 4

"Every adult person finds himself in specific situations with respect to his work, his recreation, his family-life, his community-life, et cetera- situations which call for adjustments. Adult education begins at this point. Subject matter is brought into the situation, is put to work, when needed. Texts and teachers play a new and secondary role in this type of education; they must give way to the primary importance of the learner." p. 6

"...the resource of highest value in adult education is the learner's experience... Psychology is teaching us, however, that we learn what we do, and that therefore all genuine education will keep doing and thinking together. Life becomes rational, meaningful, as we learn to be intelligent about things we do and the things that happen to us." p. 7

"...we should find cumulative joys in searching out the reasonable meaning of the events in which we play parts... Experience is the adult learner's living textbook." p. 7

For each of these quotes, I have something personal in mind. But instead of sharing that at this point, if you have a moment in your busy life, I ask you simply to read each of these quotes and ask yourself, "Why is Mark so excited about this one that he would share it?"

I will say, that one of Cyndy's most endearing qualities, is her excitement for learning things, researching things and reading about all kinds of things. For instance, for mothers' day, I knew I had a winner of a gift, when we went to listen to David McCollough, the author of 1776 and John Adams. Here is a guy who is an adult learner. When he finds something he is curious about, he finds out about it.

I think of so many friends we know, who I have observed, in the middle of a situation in their lives, and reach out to figure it out. That is when they have been the happiest. I love their energy. I think of one guy, who coaches youth sports and can't get enough about all kinds of techniques, methods, and strategies for coaching this sport well. Want to build a raft? Then read up on it and do it. Learning and doing are meant to go together.

As adults, one way we can "live for our kids" is by doing a little living for ourselves from time to time, apart from them. Our own interests, our own learning, our own curiosities, etc. What is wrong with getting excited about finally reading AND understanding "King Lear" by Shakespeare? Finding someone who can help us understand the tougher lines, and the enjoying it all the more?

One thing I have learned here at school, is this:

I can think of some people, a lot of people, for whom my life experience may not mean much. However, it makes a huge difference to me, when I am studying here. Almost everything I am studying here has deeper meaning, much deeper meaning, for me, because I have put 57 years of wear on this body and mind. I am going to finish this degree and get a diplomma. However improving my education didn't require I go here. I have rediscovered that true education is being curious about things I am doing, and doesn't require going to a building or listening to a professor. This is the education we should never stop getting.

This is the adult education that we can be an example of as we attempt to influence our children and their education. It's all about us!

Another link you might enjoy:


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