Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Don't Go Back to School!

What comes to your mind when you hear or read the words, back to school?

I have often wondered about the phrase, back to school and its significance with respect to how we perceive education, training and learning. Like many students in North America, I will also be going back to school this September. But I only mean it as a way to highlight the courses I will be undertaking as a part of my Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education program at the University of Victoria that I have been pursuing part-time since the last two years.

But is going back to school all about courses and curricula? What about all the learning that happens outside the school; does it not matter? Is September 04 more important than any other date just because we have a backpack telling us we are going to a place to learn something?

On September 04, more than any other day of the year, I remind myself that learning is not about classrooms, courses and training days; it is ongoing and happens everywhere. As an L&D professional, I take it upon myself to make sure I act as the champion of informal learning and help others make their own informal learning more visible, accessible and usable to them.

I suspect September is a time when many adults might contemplate going back to school to learn something new, improve their job prospects or get a promotion. While I respect that thought and encourage the decision, I urge everyone to not go back to school; instead, try never leaving the school. I urge everyone to keep learning, continuously, every day of the year in this school of life.

This September, discover a new way to learn: listen to podcasts, read and comment on blogs, share your insights on LinkedIn, participate in twitter chats, meet professionals in your community, volunteer for causes that matter. Remember, you don't need to sign up for courses in order to learn.

“The more I live, the more I learn. 
The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.” 
― Michel Legrand