I have never learnt about learning in such an intimate, in-depth, yet simple ways.
What have you observed? What have you learnt? What questions are in your mind? What ideas do you have?
It was a truly enriching experience to listen to our interns and read reflection from my recent training class with Teach for Vietnam. Seeing how each individual made sense of what they observed, derived meaning from their observation into unique points of view, questions and learning gave me great insights about how our senses and brain converts our daily experience into personal and collective knowledge.
Observe, then learn, then ask questions, then explore new ideas, the cycle of learning continues in an endless and self-directed manner.
While the traditional education approaches learning by teaching children to find solutions, I am reexamining the learning process of human by closely looking at how children learn without schooling. To my amazement, they are already masters of observation, asking questions, applying their learning to explore new ideas.
Allow children to ask questions, allow them to express and reflect to internalize their experience to their knowledge, educators can help children to become self-directed learners.
Just like how a seed already has the DNA to synthesize sunlight and nutrients to grow into a plant, human have inside ourselves fundamental mechanisms to learn. Schooling therefore can take a role of an enriched soil for the seeds to grow, and educators can take the role of loving gardeners to tend to the garden with dedicated patience and care.