A different way of looking at school, education, and university life.

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 A different way of looking at school, education, and university life.

Hi, I’m Luciana, I’m 22 years old and I study Business Leadership & HRM. I’m passionate about a lot of things, including travelling, arts events, organising workshops and generally challenging the status quo.

Last Tuesday I went to Dr Scott Buckler’s research seminar on transformational learning, a topic not usually covered in education. It was a surprising lecture that stirred many thoughts in me as a student which I want to share with you. I hope this will make you think about your learning a bit differently as well.

 A different way of looking at school, education, and university life.

-Transpersonal education: an international investigation into the validity of the concept-

A lot of times, especially when suffering from assignment blues, we are tempted to just do what we can to get the grade, or pass. Or, if you’re a real hard worker, perhaps you want to tick all the boxes to get an A – to get closer to that dream job, or dream degree, or make someone proud, or keep your rockstar/geek work up to standard. Whatever the reason, there is something that makes us all care about those grades and why not? We have all the reasons to do so.

But would it not be liberating to be able to let go of these performance indicators dragging you into a very finely-tuned machine? What is the measure of your success? Take a second and think about that.

Right, now that you have been flooded by thoughts and a dose of confusion, you could reduce all of this to some sort of happiness, to satisfaction. It’s normal, it’s human nature.

Wait, what?

Yes, it does sound a bit far-fetched to link writing your assignments to human nature, but then again, maybe it isn’t all that odd.

According to Dr Scott Buckler, studying, teaching and indeed learning should be about more than just memorizing, understanding and critically approaching knowledge. Education should be transforming us through physical practice (sports class!) and emotional development (yep buddy, if you feel bad about it, write about it!).

In his recent work, Dr Buckler also argues that the curriculum usually focuses on the cognitive aspects of education, while incorporating less psychomotor activities and emotional reflection, especially in primary, secondary education. He suggests this can limit the depth to which learning actually occurs and to which it develops the individual personally.

In other words, maybe what we should do is add a bit of practical experience into the classroom. Even more so, we should see what it stirs inside us. Are we sensing fear? Are we making mistakes? How does what the textbook say actually relate to what we’re living right now?

School time should be about finding ourselves in what we study. Finding out what works for us, and moreover, finding our core beliefs. And it should also be about how you put what you believe in into practice. It’s like if you only knew the machine but not how much elbow grease has been put into building it, you would appreciate it less. So what? Well, if you know what it took to make it, then maybe you’d think different about machines. Maybe you would change the way you look at consequences.

Research usually says more research is needed, but science can only go so far. Beyond it there are people like you and me dealing with and having to live with reality. Maybe Pythagoras, Socrates, Aristotle and all those ancient philosophers had a point in going beyond the set knowledge and asking personal questions. Maybe we can actually find our opinions and beliefs in between references, maybe we do transform at a deeper level. And if we truly understand, maybe we can make a difference.

Now that’s a good research seminar!

More information can be found on Dr Scott Buckler’s staff page.

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