Education is a highly complex process beginning with our first breath on earth. From that day forward, education becomes a life long journey with a thirst to learn about the wonders of our universe and the human condition. The symbiotic relationship between teacher<>student – teaching<>learning is fundamentally at the core of how humans discover and pursue humanness.
We never stop learning consciously and unconsciously. Learning provides opportunities to discover what was thought to be impossible, creates awareness, introduces new skills, provides experiences and sentiments never felt before leading to emotional intelligence, moral courage, introspection, personal growth and change.
Life-long-learning plays a significant role in all aspects of Diversity Literacy. Education allows for opportunities to understand our thought process in order to introspectively become aware of ourselves and others. But education alone does not guarantee civic responsibility nor the pursuit of the truth. That responsibility rests squarely on our shoulders on a daily basis as a life long journey.
Family, schooling and society are instrumental in establishing a social curriculum that shapes beliefs, attitudes, values and predispositions. That curriculum shapes our identity and how we view the identity of others.
To live as a life-long-learner by choice and design can enhance the quality of life, provide views of the world and its inhabitants that are not static, exclusive, and narrow but dynamic, inclusive and multi-dimensional. Learning is ever present, from first to last breath as an option to life-long-growth… life-long-change.
Surviving 2nd Language Acquisition . . . and then She Appeared . . .
Schools to my immigrant uneducated parents were “Temples of Learning” and teachers were “Holy”.
The plan was simple – they would sacrifice and I would attend school.
Their past would not dictate my future.
But what they did not realize was that sometimes classrooms can imprison and oppress.
I was not learning but merely surviving – until she appeared . . .
Mother Earth ~ Loving Her Back
Sometimes the best gifts come our way without a Hallmark reminder.
The unexpectedness makes it singularly exceptional.
Mother Earth is ever providing such gifts second by second.
All we have to do is remain awake, gaze and listen . . . and then love her with the same love she provides.
Who were your Wizards and Sorcerers?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou
So who were those Wizards and Sorcerers, known as teachers who took teaching and learning to an art form?
The Courage to Teach
“If we embrace the promise of diversity, of creative conflict, and of “losing” in order to “win,” we still face one final fear – the fear that a live encounter with otherness will challenge or even compel us to change our lives.
Otherness taken seriously, always invites transformation, calling us not only to new facts and theories and values but also to new ways of living our lives – and that is, the most daunting threat of all.” Parker J. Palmer
21st Century Life Long Learning ~ Context and Backstories
So what do we see when we pass a homeless soul on the street?
What do we feel?
What words go through our mind, heart and spirit?
It’s only a passing instance, right? The sight quickly dissolves . . . or does it?
Why would it linger?
Never Too Early ~ Producing a Globally Sensitive Generation
Increasingly, one of the challenges of a homogenous teacher population teaching an exponentially growing heterogenous student body from diverse families and backgrounds requires rethinking what teaching and learning means in the 21st Century.
It becomes the responsibility of teachers to challenge social -isms and phobias so as to create safe cultural school environments that accept, affirm and build on the identities of all students with respect, dignity and integrity.