Second childhood

To all my fellow lifelong learners. I have just embarked upon a brilliant MOOC from the MIT Media Lab called “Learning Creative Learning”.

I have been looking at the philosophy behind the “Lifelong Kindergarten” which is directed by Professor Mitchell Resnick and I  feel that they are essentially correct in their assumption that Kindergartens have it right and the formal schooling system has it very very wrong.

The Kindergarten allows children to do what comes naturally to them, to explore,to play around with objects, to experience situations and to allow their senses to relate to them just how things fit into their world.

The formal schooling system wants to direct you.It tells you what to learn, when and puts you in boxes with people who just happen to be the same age as you but have widely different interests and levels of “development” (whatever that term really means).

What I love about the video of the wonderful song “Hoppipolla” by Icelandic group Sigur Ros, is that it shows a group of old “children” being naughty but also regaining the freedom to explore, to experience and to feel that they do not have to fit into conventional boxes.

For myself I am not proposing to hop in and out of puddles  ring bells and then run for it,or join my friends in having a “pretend war” against a rival “gang”. I am though hoping that I can clear my mind of the cobwebs that have set in from too many years of living and working in the straitjacket formal education system.

I am hoping that the neuroscientists are right and that I can use the newly found plasticity of the brain to actually learn new things and recreate the sense of wonder about the wonderful world that we live in despite the fact that I am now 60 years of age.

I am now an enrolled member of the Lifelong Kindergarten and hope that many others will get the chance to explore their philosophy about sheer joy of learning, creating, tinkering. As Joi Ito (the inspirational Director of the MIT Media Lab) puts it, education happens to you, learning is what you do for yourself.



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