“What is Learn 4 Forever?” I was asked this question by a colleague recently and I responded matter-of-factly by saying, “Well, it’s a blog where I post stories about learning at our school.” Straightforward and simple for sure but it got me thinking on a deeper level about the stories that this blog could tell about learning.
The Gandhi quote that appears here and on the masthead expresses a sentiment that well captures a key purpose of Learn4Forever. This quote guides our lives in two ways: first, that the complete person seeks to be present in the moment and to live each day as if it were her/his last. Second, that the complete person approaches each day with an “What can I learn today?” attitude and takes an open stance toward what can be learned from their experiences on that day. One of my core beliefs which has developed from my experiences with learning and life is that, ‘we are all learners, all the time’ which fits in perfectly with Gandhi’s advice that we never quite have life all figured out and there is always something more to learn.
The core purpose of Learn4Forever is to share stories about learning so that readers will become better learners themselves and can then help someone else to become a better learner. It’s become trite to say that we are all on a learning journey, but it’s a cliché that works because it describes something we understand and have all done (or used to do before COVID and won’t it be nice to take trips again!). We can learn through experience and activity; through information from audio, visual, or written sources; or through conversation with others. What defines what and how much we can learn is determined by the attitude which we bring to the table.
My learning journey has brought me here, to the University of Alberta in sunny Edmonton, AB (it actually is pretty sunny!) where I am a PhD student in the Education Policy Studies department. I have worked in public and international education as a teacher, and school or district leader for most of my adult life, and have spent 21 years so far as a student in school besides. This journey has taken me to five countries in one way or another and continues to humble me along the way as the main lesson to be learned seems is that I’ve got a lot more to learn. The journey continues however and while I am not quite sure where it is leading, am enthusiastically ready for the adventure to continue.
Each week this blog will bring readers a story of learning to encourage you on your journey, and to help you encourage someone else on theirs. The topic could arise from a real life learning activity I’ve been a part of, something I’ve seen or read about learning, or something that has been shared with me by others, but hope that all the stories shared will inspire you to “Learn as if you are going to live forever.” If you have a learning story you would like to share, please feel free to send it to me and will share with others as they fit the purpose of the blog. See you next week for a new learning story and have a great week of learning ahead!