I find myself supporting the process of building a love to learn. I often downplay the importance of gaining this or that bit of information or skill set. "This is a life-long process," I tell you. "Relax. Enjoy."
So why go to the trouble of trying to learn anything? Why not take a radical unschooling approach and abandon all routine, structure, and formality?
I've already shared 5 reasons to teach even though we tend to forget the details of our lessons. But today I think I stumbled on another one: Learning inspires more learning.
This is one of the key points of unschooling. If you allow kids to find joy and wonder in the world, they will be inspired to find more. I'm actually not at all opposed to unschooling; it works for many kids. But focused routine and exposure to subjects that aren't naturally of interest to a student has so much potential. One reason to force ourselves to work on something we dislike, "won't use," and are "bad at" is that the hard work can reverse these trends. Done well, we can take something a student hates -- say, math -- and turn it into something useful, important, even enjoyable.
When the wind sweeps across the field and the clouds drift across the sky, I'm reminded of heat rising, barometric pressure changes, cloud classifications, the water cycle ... math, science, physics, history ... a combination of subjects and disciplines that allow us deeper insights and wonder at the world around us.
Why learn even though we forget?
Because the more we learn, the more we can discover the joy in learning. The more we connect ideas, the more ideas we can connect. Life-long learning is far more important that learning a single lesson, but each lesson is a block upon which we build our life-long pursuit of knowledge and understanding.
Filmmaker, Writer, Guardian