Preparing the next generations for their future by Learning to Learn
The problem with traditional education and standardized curricula is that it is very difficult to define which subjects and information will be relevant for each student. What is useful knowledge for a student might not be for another – and most importantly, what is useful today might not be tomorrow. This is the reason why several modern pedagogical theories suggest that learning how to learn – rather than learning actual content and information – is a rather more essential skill, that must be prioritized by educational institutions at large. Empowering the students with the tools and the motivation to learn whatever they deem appropriate and useful according to their specific situation, especially in a time when information is vastly retrievable online, is really a game-changing decision – already applied by a number of alternative educational programmes. This is certainly a good way to prepare the next generation for the challenges of the future.
What does this look like, in practice? On one hand, some schools of thought suggest showing the students that the learning takes place first and foremost outside of school walls and time. Students can and should be encouraged to learn from their reality and to follow their interests. Why not learn from traveling, for example? Observing a reality different from your own and meeting new people can be an eye-opening experience for just about anyone – bringing about a fresh understanding of both a new culture and reality, and of our own society and ways, too, out of contraposition.
On the other hand, there certainly are learning methodologies and techniques that, if taught and applied, would facilitate and smoothen out the students’ learning processes. To mention one out of many, Dewey’s formulation of ‘Learning by Doing’ is a very versatile tool that can help you understand what are the essential principles that stand at the base of efficient and memorable learning – and, ultimately, teach you how to learn.