What is happening to our education system? Change and more change. Yet again the majority are squeezed out with tests and higher targets and more difficult exams……isn’t education for everyone?
I’m for healthy learning which is whole person learning, messy, deep, confidence building, challenging, enjoyable, life giving ….
Healthy learning is our birth right, intrinsic, innate and powerful, we are all born to learn and to discover. Formal education can separate us from our natural learning instincts can leave us hesitant, anxious, fearful of change and unsure of our worth, doubting and insecure about our abilities. As healthy learners we become light on our feet, in our hearts and in our imaginations, we step confidently, dance intricate movements, swizzle and slide, swing and glide, stomp and stamp and hold our ground with ease. Experiencing healthy learning can be like putting on comfortable shoes; a metaphor for standing proud understanding our deep lasting learning, valuing insight and trusting intuition. It carries all our depth of knowing, seeing and doing, the healing tools of praise, encouragement and confidence.
No matter how often we are cut down, fail, or told we are useless, unintelligent, or thick, our healthy learner rises in our souls regardless. Even the most scared and anxious learner has a secret pair of comfortable shoes. Even the most downtrodden learner is waiting for an opportunity to dance into the light. We are all born healthy, deep learners.
To be a healthy learner does not mean to be confined to libraries. It means listening and trusting, knowing your worth, your wisdom, using action and reflection, valuing knowledge and skills, it is about rekindling your learning nature, gathering your allies and encouragers, trusting your words and your explanations, being a learner by right and with pride. Deep learning is fluent in the language of now knowing, of uncertainty and of puzzles, of working in groups and with peers, of humility and patience, of discovering together, of teachers as travellers not experts. No act of love or social justice occurs without it. Deep learning is our birth right. It is our life blood and our fire, it is our confidence and compassion, it is the rainbow in our doubts and the nourishment for uncertainty.
So whether you have simple aspirations or the desire to be the best, whether you are trying to change the world or inspire a team, whether you are helping others or helping yourself, whether you are young or old, deep learning is your right.
(With thanks to Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women who run with the Wolves)
© sue orton