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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition

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The Joy of Learning

Aug 01, 2014 08:40AM

Working with this Transformative Education issue has me considering some thought-provoking ideas, such as how this time of the year brings on commencement of the traditional school year for most educational institutions, making it kind of a second “new year”.

We get to begin anew, full of anticipation to see favorite friends and make new friends, discoveries and progress. Even if we couldn’t wait for spring classes to end we’re now eagerly looking forward to another period of structured learning—even though it means hours of study, going to bed and getting up earlier and fewer days just hanging out.

It occurs to me that our owner’s manual, the Bible, written a couple of thousand years ago, admonishes us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” and speaks of believers “being transformed into the likeness of Christ.” This tells me that transformation is a serious and rewarding process, one that we experience in individuals ways.

We all know that learning is a lifelong process. Learning that transforms lives seeks to teach us how to be more adaptive, inclusive and autonomous thinkers at any age by questioning the beliefs and biases we’ve acquired that aren’t serving us well. Linda Sechrist’s feature article, “Learning that Transforms Hearts and Minds: Rethinking How We See our World Changes Everything,” is an eye-opener geared to reconstruct how we approach learning and education.

Thank goodness that pioneering curricula and programs around the country are diligently focused on teaching both children and adults how to develop creative and critical thinking skills. One must ask: “Why aren’t all of our schools teaching this?”

How we learn is informed by the experiences and motivations we bring to the moment. It is also shaped by the learning environment’s facility in nurturing and respecting the individual seasonings that inspire effort. Sometimes circumstances present obstructions that call for “work arounds” and Stephanie Golder, ThD, suggests effective approaches in her article, “Transformative Education and Mental Health.”

If you’re like me, one of the ongoing joys of life is learning. Whether it’s a new hobby or career, learning to play a musical instrument or growing a garden, we’re all hard-wired to seek out new experiences. So I encourage you to never let up on learning all you can wherever your interests lead you. That’s how we each grow to be better than we ever imagined and to accomplish life transforming and world transforming things.

We’re glad that Natural Awakenings of Dallas is one of your go-to sources in your own lifelong learning process. We know that when your interest is piqued you often drill down more on your own and that as this happens, transformation happens, and health and happiness becomes more sustained.

Blessings,

Bernice Butler, Publisher

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