Learning is NOT the result of teaching

Institutional wisdom tells us that children need school.

Institutional wisdom tells us that children learn in school.

Institutional wisdom tells us that learning is the result of teaching.

The problem with this institutional wisdom is that it is itself the product of school. Anyone holding these beliefs about children and learning has been socially conditioned into doing so, courtesy of their own schooling and the unfortunate reality that school continues to monopolise education on this planet.

All three of the above assumptions are close to 100% false.

The truth is, children don’t need school. Learning is inevitable; schooling is optional.

The truth is, any learning taking place in school happens in spite of school, not because of it.

The truth is, learning is the result of learning, not teaching.

Teaching and learning are not the same thing. It is a major mistake to confuse these two terms. A gram of teaching does not equate to a gram of learning. Teaching is presentation of a gift, an offering. But the learner always has the power to either accept or reject this gift. And this choice will always be determined by the extent to which the learner is interested in what is being offered. If there is insufficient interest, then no learning takes place. Short-term memorisation perhaps, but not learning.

True, uninstitutionalised learning (otherwise known as “living”) is natural, effortless and spontaneous because it is both initiated and experienced by the learner. It happens anywhere, at any time, with anyone. It is a personal activity. It is an organic activity. It is an invisible activity. It is also a largely unconscious activity.

That we continue to adhere to an education system built on false assumptions about learning — and that so few people have thought to question these assumptions — is, to me, one of the greatest mysteries of this world. After all, one need only observe a baby learning to walk or talk for confirmation of the self-evident truth that learning is a by-product of living.


Children are the key to transforming education

Why education needs a new approach

Harmony Community: a vision for education outside the box

During this video I share my vision for a Natural Learning Community designed and run by children for children. I have suggested the Clophill Centre in Bedfordshire as a potential ‘home base’.

Reflection & Response

In 2011, I had a life-changing experience involving an angry stranger on a bus in Chicago. This experience pointed to me having far more power to affect and influence the world around me than I realised and led to the development of what I call the Reflection & Response approach to emotional mastery and personal response-ability. Far from being a “quick fix” technique (there are no quick fixes in life), this has become a central tenet of my life philosophy, something that I apply on a daily basis to any “problems” that I encounter.

I have experienced many positive results and witnessed numerous miracles in the four years since I started consciously applying Reflection and Response to my life. Strangers who have been enemies one minute have transformed into friends the next. Arguments and disagreements with family members have dissolved and resolved within minutes rather than days or hours. Poor customer service has resolved itself without any need for direct intervention.

Intrigued? Check out this video…