Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
I ask myself "what's it all for" on something like a daily basis (I am always questioning myself, my motives, and my objectives) and so this short item gets to the heart of what we do. And the response - "to prepare children [or people] for the future" - doesn't satisfy. As Marco Polo asks, "When has mankind ever been ready for the future?" The problem with this isn't with the 'future' (after all, all our efforts are future-directed) or even 'mankind' (though it would be more inclusive to use the word 'humanity'). It's with the word 'prepare' - because it isn't about preparing for things. It is, in my opinion, about development, empowerment, self-fullfillment. In other words, the object of our endeavour isn't directed outward, at some (possibly hypothetical) scenario, work environment, or whatever, it is directed inward. And it seems to me that the best, the only, way to teach, is to make myself a better person, and to share this process with others - instead of telling, to show. This, of course, is the hard way, for who among us is ready to live up to the values we profess?

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jan 22, 2022 01:32 a.m.