I am a very lucky person. I had parents and an older brother who taught me two things that I have found incredibly useful:
1: Be curious. Endlessly curious. Go on asking questions. Never stop wondering why. Or how. Or when. Or where. Never stop wondering why or how one thing links to another. How something changed. How one thing turned into another. How something died out. How something else started up. Be curious, they said.
2: Anything out there, any knowledge, any culture, anything going on, can be yours, they said. You are entitled to find out about it, enjoy it, go there, do it, be it. There are no walls, nothing is too posh, or too un-posh, nothing is too highbrow or lowbrow. Don’t let anyone block you off from any of it. Don’t block yourself off from any of it. Just give yourself a chance with any of it. Give it a go.
Wonderful introduction to Michael Rosen's book 'Good ideas: how to be your child’s (and your own) best teacher'. You can also read here the recent Guardian article 'Why curiosity is the key to life'.
The video below has done the rounds for the last year. " Logan Laplante is a 13 year-old boy who was taken out of the education system to be home schooled instead. Not only was he home schooled, but Logan had the ability to tailor his education to his interests and also his style of learning, something traditional education does not offer. As Logan has mentioned, when he grows up he wants to be happy and healthy. At a TEDx talk in 2013, he discussed how hacking his education is helping him achieve that goal. " Collective Evolution.
I was reminded of Laplante's talk again during a recent read through of Kio Stark's Don't Go Back to School: A Handbook for Learning Anything. In her series of interviews she commented that,
... from their stories, you’ll see that when you step away from the prepackaged structure of traditional education, you’ll discover that there are many more ways to learn outside school than within.
... a gracefully executed quit is a beautiful thing, opening up more doors than it closes.
This is not a story between one or the other, but a call for re-imagination. Of dreaming, crafting, investing into what it means to learn. It will no doubt look different for everyone, but I am convinced that the collective sound of diverse notes will make up a symphony beyond expectations. A brave step of engagement within this creative world, that to my shame I quickly bypass, so many times, to reach my next goal.