In 2015 I was about to finish my second doctoral degree. This happened at the age of 52.
My last days of research, lectures and studying at the university were still in front of me.
I remember, that being a student again was fascinating and intimidating at the same time.
It gave me a perspective of how much there still is to be learned and that we, indeed, live in a learning society. ‘Lifelong learning’ is not only a meaningless word, it is the reality we live in.
Initially one might feel overwhelmed by the amount of notions, information, knowledge to be integrated and understood, but by keeping an open mindset driven by the desire of broadening one’s intellectual, inter- and intra-personal skills it becomes an exciting journey. A journey shared with younger and older students, a journey that liaises people with similar interests in such a way that new projects can arise from it.
Lifelong learning is a ‘continuous building of skills and knowledge throughout the life of an individual’ (Wikipedia). Indeed, the faculty of being open for new things and embracing them, instead of feeling paralysed or under pressure, is what we aim for our students to embrace, and embody.
At School Beyond Limitations our students get acquainted with the idea that the world is a place of awe and of questions.
- By putting themselves in the position of asking the right questions
- by reflecting on what they are doing
- by analysing critically the data they are collecting
- by exchanging their ideas with others
- by listening to what others have to say and
- by learning how to put their own ideas into a meaningful language
prepares them to cope in a continuously changing environment.
They learn that change is nothing to be afraid of, that change is part of their daily lives. They realise that change is an opportunity to grow and to make a difference. Change will therefore not be seen as a threat, but as a vehicle for innovation. They learn that they can trust themselves if they keep going, if they learn to adjust to new situations, if they understand that the notion of traditional certainties has shifted.
In these days certainty, I would say, certainty has more something to do with that lies within. It is about being able to face challenges, to find solutions, to think outside of one’s box.
This will give each student probably the most important certainty there is: the certainty that they will be able to rely on their own skills, their own competencies, their own faculties and to be open for new ventures to come.
This kind of certainty grows by getting involved and by engaging in the learning process, by being an active participant of the learning experience, by understanding that one’s contribution really matters.
It seems to me that there is a lot of truth in the following Chinese proverb: ‘Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.’
Learning takes place at any time and everywhere, at any age, in any circumstances. If we hold an open mind, then there are no limitations that stand in the way and we all are capable of making a difference in our own and our community’s world.
This is what we aim to do at School Beyond Limitations on a daily basis.
If you also wish for your child to have a holistic, international school education where every child is seen and encouraged in their uniqueness, and if you’d love your child to be prepared for a meaningful and fulfilled future please don’t hesitate to contact us.