In my years leading training programs for young adults I had the opportunity to see a transformation in learning in several of my students. Students who hadn’t done well in high school came to our programs and turned a new leaf. One who probably hadn’t read a single book in school was turning his book reports in (and actually reading the books!) early and reading extra books. Another spent every waking hour studying Spanish while in Mexico, with each conversation with a Mexican friend being enough motivation to keep learning the language. Not to mention the many students who tackled the challenge of reading through the Bible cover-to-cover in a matter of weeks!
It always amazed me that kids who weren’t considered good or smart students in school could dive into reading, study and learning with such passion and energy. It seemed that the combination of self-motivation (they chose to come to our programs), the hands-on learning environment of living in another culture and the opportunity to dive into their passions made for a great opportunity for many of these students to shine.
As Sir Ken Robinson tells in the presentation above, great education is an organic process that involves discovering and pursuing your natural talents and passions. I hope that we as teachers can reflect this in the way we teach and in the way we give our students opportunities to learn.