Birds do not attend flight schools

Rivers do not attend flowing colleges. Fish do not attend swimming seminars.
(Rabindranath Tagore)

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn, Oct 27, 2014

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What are the primary concerns of education, training, learning and development?

(1) Instructional designers should attend to the intellectual development of the learners. To be intellectually developed means to be able to use one’s imagination, to be a free thinker, to possess a limitless curiosity and an ever-growing alertness of mind.

(2) It should never be forgotten that the natural ways of learning will always work best. Nature provides the learner with an ideal environment to earn knowledge, insight and wisdom. Never should pressure be exerted upon anyone to learn anything. The instructional designer should trust that nature will be the guiding force to inculcate the spirit of learning in the mind of the learner to pursue the learning path she likes.

(3) Choice is humankind’s most distinguishing feature. Education should be after the heart of man. When learners are given the choice of what and when to learn, half of their learning path is already trodden. Learning tracks imparted in a natural way automatically lead to freedom of heart, freedom of intellect, freedom of will. When learners have learned by choice, the learned matter will get shared without additional effort, and learning grows exponentially without mediation of teachers or trainers.

(4) Learning is enabled by self-realisation – and self-realisation is the goal of learning. In an ideal learning process, learners discover the hitherto hidden potentials of their inner self. Birds do not attend flight schools. Birds realize the flying potential they always had.

(5) A genuine learning path should merge with the learning path of the other. Through learning, learners realize the oneness of our world. As such, learning is essential for international and intercultural understanding.

(6) Learning through the senses: The ideal learning track is a walk through the senses. Physical attributes are key learning devices. The more the learner is physically engaged, the better she will learn.

(7) Learning should be practical and real, rather than artificial and theoretical. Whereas the acquisition of knowledge certainly helps, it is creativity and practice which provide sense to the learning activity, and which brings perfection into the learning process.

(8) Learning is an art, and art is a cornerstone of learning. Speaking connects one learner to the other, but singing connects the learner to the harmonies of nature. Writing sends my words to you, but drawing sends you my heart and my feelings and my inner self.

(9) When learning is being constrained by learning devices, such as textbooks and hand-outs and slides, the learning process remains confined within the limited scope of vision of the one who developed the learning aids. When learning is freed from its learning devices, the learning dynamics run wild with opportunities.

(10) The ideal learning path is always a platform on which moral and ethical aspects of learning together are being discussed and explored. In other words: learning is always more than just learning. Learning is becoming. Learning is the flowing of the river. Learning is the swimming of the fish.