Education Through Experience How does one learn? Is learning part of the modern day media induced generation? Do we learn by flipping through television channels and reading magazine articles? Or does learning run deeper than that? In today’s world we would like to believe that by turning on the Discovery channel or actually finishing a Harry Potter novel we have learned it all. We justify our media obsession by saying how much we are learning when we stay “glued to the tube” or nose deep in the latest fashion magazine.
It is quite agreeable to say that we do collect many facts and details from reading books, magazines, and from watching television. But after all is said and done, what have you committed to memory? Do you find yourself more interested in the facts or the dramatic plot of the movie you were watching? Television is not a sin. We all watch it from time to time. But when people rush home so that they don’t jeopardize their TV time, it seems as if it really has become a problem.
How can you expect your children to efficiently learn when they are plopped down in front of the TV or are obsessing over what they are reading in their magazines? Education is not gained by becoming obsessed with the media. It is gained through experience. By seeing and doing things, the people of the world can come to know and understand what education is all about. Not about how “hot” people are, or about how much money you can make from winning a game show, but about how the way things of this world truly work.
By being open to new experiences, and new opinions we are able to step outside of our comfort zones and see things through another perspective. As Plato rightly states in The Allegory of the Cave, an educated person is said to be someone that strives to learn more, and that is open to a variety of beliefs and notions from other people. Another important factor in gaining education through experience is being able to communicate what you have learned to others. Communication is huge in learning new material. We communicate with others in the world every day yet, we rarely “truly communicate. A conversation should create something in common by making a genuine connection, not by being a short or one-sided opinion. By creating something in common and sharing educational experiences, the conversation allows input from all sides no matter how differnt the viewpoint and creates something new (Bohm). Today we run frantically to Google or ask. com when we find we have a question about the way things work. Sure these search engines are helpful, but they prove our generation to be lazy and solely dependent on the technology.
What if there were no computers? What if there were no flat-screen televisions to tell us everything? What if, God forbid, we actually had to have a conversation with someone? Communication is the divine way of comparing and contrasting the information we gain from our experiences. You don’t like or agree with what someone says? Great! That is the beauty of communication. We don’t have to believe whatever we see on the television screen or in the pages of a newspaper or magazine. Experience puts us past that.
An equally important matter to take into consideration when exploring education learned through experience is the economical and educational troubles the U. S. are currently experiencing. In the article “America The Uneducated” by William Symonds we’re told that our education system has a direct effect on world economy. He states that “As highly educated baby boomers retire, they’ll be replaced by mounting numbers of young Hispanics and African Americans, who are far less likely to earn degrees. ” If the U. S. is so far behind, and is only predicted to fail, how can we ever expect to learn anything?
We can’t because people aren’t really learning. No wonder we can’t obtain sufficient math or reading scores. What can we expect when we constantly depend on technology to do our work for us? We live by what the media says instead of using our ability to reason. Jobs our being lost, schools are shutting down, and people still haven’t received their reality check. The reality of it is that if we don’t start encouraging kids as well as people of all ages, to stop sitting and start doing then we may as well give in to this crazed society.
If we aren’t going to communicate and strive to learn instead of running to our easy- to-use resources, then we ultimately deserve our predetermined fate. The reading of books, magazines, articles, newspapers, and the watching of television all enhance education. But these methods shouldn’t be the basis for how we learn. Science wasn’t learned through a “nose in the book” technique, it was learned through experimentation. After experimented, it was communicated with others to perfect and challenge anything that might not fit.
By using a “hands on” method, we get the chance to use all of our skills and by doing so, ultimately determine the answers we are searching for. Numerous people our highly educated by the media or by what their teachers taught them straight from the curriculum, but most of those very same people lack the basic skills and tools that allow them to function independently in the world. By learning from our experiences, we can begin to understand what education is really all about. Not just reading what happened, or seeing it on TV, but actually knowing what happened first hand.
If we take on the task of educating and sharing our experiences with others, we can successfully carry on in this complex and ever- changing world we live in and perhaps begin to truly learn again. Works Cited William C. Symonds. ”America The Uneducated. ”November 21, 2005. Businessweek. com Plato. “Book VII: The Allegory of the Cave. ”Human Experience 1: Who Am I?. Ed. Alice Burmeister and Kathy Lyon. 6th ed. Littleton, MA:Tapestry, 2009. 3-6 Bohm, David. ”On Communication. ” Human Experience 1: Who Am I?. Ed. Alice Burmeister and Kathy Lyon. 6th ed. Littleton, MA: Tapestry, 2009. 12-14