Utne Reader Article

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Learning in the Key of Life by Jon Spayde, Utne Reader June 1998, Page 45-49 Take Charge of Your Own Learning

As I look back on this article with my reflection, I realize how character, community, and schooling are important to each individual of the world. This article relates to me going back to college to get my M.Ed. as well as relations to the students I come in contact with on a daily basis.

This article speaks of what is means to be educated. Education leads to the question of what a culture considers most important. Spayde writes of how a group of rich people who learned about humanities while some poverty-stricken students did not. A professor told the poverty-stricken people that humanities was a foundation for getting along in the world today. He also told them how humanities would make a person rich in their life, but not with money. Schooling does help, but it is only the beginning of the relationship between reality and ideas.

In our value system of life, character education is important. ALL people of today should have dignity, kindness, fairness, integrity, and contribution. There needs to be a balance between intellect and character. Everybody needs to have internal character development. That is very important when it come to learning. We are all interested in different subject areas, and we will all find the time to learn about something that we are interested in. In connection to this, we all learn in different ways. I am truly a hands on learner. The person sitting next to me might be a visual learner. Learning is in our own hands.

I have been saying for years that kids of today will not survive in our world if they dont have social skills. Kids of today are starting school with no social skills to even survive in a classroom. How can they survive in this world? I have seen children with academic knowledge coming out of their ears, but they cant get along with the person sitting next to them. How will they hold down a job in this world? What does it mean to be educated? I think it takes more than getting a degree from a top notch college. We have to be able to appreciate the world around us. That means the people we meet every day along with the appreciation for the life around us. Our reflection of the world around us is a necessity. I feel that we can assist children in learning to appreciate the world around them by teaching them to respect themselves, others, and the environment they live in. The environment they come in contact with each day will be their classroom. Kids can start with respecting and appreciating what they have, not what they dont have or what they think they need.

Through conversing with cohort colleagues, they agreed with my personal reflection and summary. It was also added that extending yourself within the community along with schooling were equally important to educating yourself.

-- Anonymous, October 29, 1998

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