The Art of Learning

Most students don't realize this, but information is the least important element to the educational process. This is not the party line, and educators would laugh in my face for such a comment. However, I have two graduate degrees and can recite very little of what I actually learned, and people say I'm smart. I used to get slightly insecure when people would say this about me, namely due to the fear that someday they would find out that I'm not all that smart. But, this is what I've learned over the years - from the many years as a student, and the many years of working with students to improve their educational endeavors... education is not about information... it's about the formulation of disciplines that will carry one through a fruitful adulthood. There, I said it and I stand by it 100%! Education is about effort and appreciating the effort one puts into it. An appreciation of effort is the greatest commodity of the educational process. This reality flips the entire educational system upside down, because everyone can succeed when effort is applauded. Take two students, one may put some effort into studying for a test and receive an A, while another places a great deal of effort into studying a receives a B-. Who benefited more from preparing for the test? Obviously, the B- student did, and by quite a lot. You see, the B- student stuck with something that was difficult. The subject maybe is not their strong suit, but the student put forth great effort in an area of difficulty. This endeavor has had a greater impact than what can be understood by a letter grade at the top of a test. The B- student has acquired something far more treasured than knowledge, endurance. Many would point that the A student is smarter, but I hold that the B- student is better prepared for life, for they have forged in their character endurance and resilience and these are core qualities at the foundation of a fulfilling adulthood. So with that said, be quick to point out when a student has place considerable effort into an endeavor. Please help teach them the economics of effort and watch as they blossom.