Learning to be free

February 12, 2012

As I have already explained to you, I don’t teach but try to help you to learn. That is, work with your motivation and interests,

This requires the development of certain skills on your part: application, rigour, self-discipline, the capacity for “deliberate practice” and self-evaluation.

I have observed that you have enthusiasm and engagement in your studies but sometimes lack that rigour required by companies: respect for deadlines, attention to detail and a professional level of presentation and overall quality. A few members of the class that have already worked do have these capacities.

So I am faced with a dialectic: I can be more strict and directing, giving you a sequence of specific tasks with short deadlines and grade them strictly. Some parents and teachers might say that this is my job and how you learn the rigour of which I speak.

However, the research show that such an approach renders you dependent, not independent and encourages you to give up responsibility for your own studies. To be truly free you have to develop your own discipline.

This is not easy in our modern world: I have one image of the contemporary classroom that is so strong that I dream about it: a student with headphones, a game, Facebook and Vimeo open on the computer and an iPhone by his hand – absorbed and distracted! A researcher at the university of Zurich has found that such behaviour is fundamentally handicapping the ability to learn.

You need to be able to control these tools/toys and not let them control you, otherwise you are being manipulated and not in control of your own life: your ideas and habits directed by the interest of business, power systems such as school and advertising. I want you to be free.

I wish to help you develop this self-discipline and, on your advice, the first thing I am going to do is make my deadlines and requirement more clear!