This website is for people on the path of…

Do it your Self Education: Lots of things are changing in the world of education. Mainstream education is getting more expensive and the Web is providing so many free learning resources. The world is changing so rapidly and mainstream education by it’s own nature struggles to keep on the cutting edge, while magazines, books, the people around us, and the web provide us to access to the most cutting edge material. The trend in  mainstream education is towards developing a  set of skills in a particular area, while many of us want to learn to become more ourselves, to become better citizens of the world we live in, to learn how to learn and to learn for the love of learning. People become DIY learners for many reasons, whether you are wanting to learn a few extra skills or whether you would like to create your own alternative learning program, I hope this website  points you in the direction of something useful. You can also look up, autodidacticism, edupunk and google self-education DIY education or DIY U. On the Self Made Scholar blog you can find a list of “The Ultimate Self-Education Reading List“.

Developing Self reliance: In the world today, it is easy to put trust in someone other than yourself, to hand over responsibility and hope for the best. I think that we are living in a time where we each have to become responsible for ourselves, that we need to become ethical indivduals – not because someone told us it was the right thing to do but because we feel it is the right thing to do. I recommend Emerson’s essay on Self-Reliance where he says “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” A question for me is always how do we each become finely tuned instuments for observation? and how do we develop trust in ourselves?

Becoming your  Self: When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, my friend Caitlin would always think, I want to be myself. Another friend, Katha, always says that she wants a degree in being Katha – somehow these comments make the most sense to me. We are all unique and by being fully ourselves we can contribute our  our own unique gifts to society, making it a richer, healthier place to live. The great Persian poet, Rumi says “Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart”.  And Emerson says “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. ”Otto Scharmer in his book Theory U writes “The Most Important Leadership Tool is Your Self…(recognising) the nature of every human being and the recognition that we are not “one” but “two”. One self is the person or community we have become as a result of a journey we took in the past. The other self is the person or community we can become as we journey into the future. It is our highest future possibilty. People sometimes refer to the first self using a lowercase ‘s’ and to the second self with a capital ‘S’ “. Other people refer to the Self as the higher Self, as well as many other names. The questions I would like to pose is how do I strenghthen my Self? How do I become more fully my Self?

Some thoughts:

There are so many ways to learn and its about carving out your own path and creating the one that is right for you.

You are always learning – every day of our lives, everywhere that you are. How conscious do you want it to be? Do you want to be sitting in the driver’s seat of your own learning?

That you don’t have to wait until you have time to ‘learn’, you are learning and you can start a more conscious learning path NOW!

That a qualification is not based upon how many tests and exams you pass but on the quality of who you are.

My Story

My mum often tells me the story of the lessons I used to give my brother when I was 5 and he was only 2, I would sit him down in front of the blackboard and teach him all kinds of things. By the age of seven, I had decided that I would  become a teacher when I grew up. I remember spending many lessons in my life daydreaming about how I would teach the lesson. Since then I  completed my Bachelor in Education and Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (CELTA). Over my life I have ‘taught’ people of all ages. And yet my experience was always that I was learning more from ‘the students’ than they were from me, whether they were three months old, five or 64. I have met six year olds, who know far more than me about all kinds of things.  And I have witnessed so many times the capacity of humans to learn from life, from each other and from the world that they live in.  Here I am still daydreaming about education. I wonder about what makes sense for the times that we live in, what education will create healthy, fulfilled individuals that can help create a healthy society. Below are some other experiences that have strongly shaped my thoughts on education.

I went to an alternative primary school called Moerlina in Perth, Western Australia. There school only had about 80 students in total, so everyone no matter what the year group knew each other. It was a community based school, so parents were highly involved and their skills and contributions were often used. We had no tests, no homework and we called teachers and parents by their first names. All students were treated as equal to parents and teachers. We were strongly encouraged to ask questions. I was treated as an individual with my own interests and capacities being catered to and who I was, was always fostered and encouraged. From year 1, I was going on school camp and by year 3, I was going on three school camps a year, as well as many excursions. There was a strong emphasis on learning through experiencing. I loved learning, I loved going to school. My best friend Jemma and I from the age of six, started creating our own projects out of own initiative that we would present to the teacher. When I was 11 I moved to a private girls school – complete with what felt like a 50 piece uniform. Although, I still got a lot out my education at this school, the move was a painful one, with the feeling of trying to squeeze into a box. I still remember the first time I got a grade for a project I completed, it didn’t take me too long to work out what the teachers wanted to get a better grade and I changed my style accordingly. I remember clearly the move from learning for myself, out of my own initiative and love, to learning for someone else, for something else. I am happy that I have made the transition back!

Other lessons came from my grandparents.  I visited my mum’s dad a few years ago and  at 80+ years of age he was still learning something new every day, when I visited him one day and he was teaching himself how to draw hands, cause he’d never quite worked it out yet. He also would always say to me “Find the thing you love to do and you’ll never work another day in your life.”  My dad’s dad was a self-made man. He worked hard to win every scholarship he could to provide himself with an education. He set strong goals and followed through. Later in life, he would always find out what the person he was visiting was interested in, he would read about that subject so that he could have a good conversation with them. It always felt like he knew something about everything. And my Dad  said that he learned more from conversations with his dad commuting from London to Newcastle than he would have in any MBA program in the world. My dad’s mum finished school when she was 14 but she didn’t let this stop her own path of learning. She always made sure she read a wide variety of books and kept up to date on current events.

My own parents always valued education, encouraged me to ask questions, and most importantly encouraged my to follow my heart.

And so it is through all this exploration and questioning that I gift this website to anyone who is on a similar path of learning.


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