Lost in Learning

 

The advantage of being snowed in (maybe the only one) is the chance to discover new things on the net.As I’ve said so many times, we never stop learning, which is why this blog is called my “Lifelong Learning” blog.Yesterday, I did what I often do as I dipped my toe yet again into the sea of information that is “out there” on the net. I did a search for lectures on learning. I was rewarded with an excellent list of 50 (yes 50!) lectures that covers all aspects of learning in the 21st century.The post was called “50 Fascinating Lectures On the Future of Education“.

The very first lecture on the list was by a young photographer called Eva Timothy and was delivered at the New England Institute of Art. It is about her wonderful collection of photographs which are all about Renaissance people who were themselves “lost in learning” and managed to transform their world.This is a wonderful talk because Eva is so enthusiastic about her subject which is the need for all of us to be learners and not to lose that spark within us that we have as children that is all about enquiry, curiosity, interest.Listening to Eva I was reminded so much of the talks of Sir Ken Robinson, particularly the part where he says that children are born creative and in fact it is schools that somehow kill the creativity within us.This was so marked to me as I travelled in a train through beautiful snowy landscapes the other day. There were two teenagers across from me who spoke in clipped sentences, mostly about girls and sex (they hadn’t got onto the rock n’roll and drugs yet). They ignored the scenery and they ignored everybody else. A young woman got onto the train with her very young child in a pushchair. The child noticed a discarded McDonald’s bag and asked if it was hers. She then looked around and made reference to the clothes people were wearing and the pretty view outside.This child was still “looking” with wonder at the world that she was in. I wonder if she will be like that in a few years time when school has got to her and told her how to write, how to paint, how to look (or not look).In this talk we see a young artist who has an artist’s eye for an image and a passion to express her love of learning.I was also fascinated by her talk about how, being born and bred in communist Bulgaria, she had to learn Russian at school but always had a dream to come to the United States and taught herself English by watching American films and listening to the B.B.C. on the radio.This is yet another example of how children will learn if they are inspired.There are many messages from this talk…. all I can say is that I was fortunate in having discovered it and would strongly recommend that you watch it.Also, if anyone from TED happens to read this post, I feel that Eva would make a wonderful speaker at a future TED Conference, which would give her the wider audience that I feel she so richly deserves.


 

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