The beauty of continuous enrollment

Spring has sprung — albeit it very much delayed in the BC Lower Mainland!  tulips Deb I am enrolled in another PIDP course — 3100 Foundations of Adult Education.  Thanks to the continuous enrollment model used at Vancouver Community College, I have the flexibility of starting this course any time, as well as straying from a traditional “take this one, then this one, then this one….”.  Not to diminish or discount an orderly approach to education, as an individual preference — the ability to take a course that fits in with the program but also can stand alone on its own is a stellar feature of my experience with the Provincial Instructors Diploma Program.

Today, I bring the image of the spring tulips to my page for a few reasons:

  1. The tulips have areas of transparency — in these spots the petals allow the light to shine through and you can see the individual details and texture of the petal.  You can understand and appreciate the complexity and structure of the petal.  I compare this to a learning situation where some things are readily apparent, the detail of the subject is clear and easy to understand — in fact you may already have a deep understanding of that particular element or component of a broader subject.
  2. The tulips have areas where they overlap.  These are areas where the light does not pass through as easily and the details are obscured between the 1st and 2nd petal layers.  This represents the rest of the learning situation i.e. the stuff you really don’t know, or at least do not have a rich understanding — in the same way you would have the understanding and knowledge from the single petal described above.

What does this mean for me right now?  As a life-long learner, I know there are things I truly know, things I think I know, and things I don’t have a clue about.  The things I don’t have a clue about falls in the category of “you don’t know what you don’t know”.  Being somewhat longer in the tooth, with lots of life experience it is important for me to always respect the element of “not knowing” and be safe and comfortable in that space.  To open oneself up to learning you need to allow a certain amount of vulnerability into the space — and be comfortable being “uncomfortable” with not “knowing”.  As I continue to work on the PIDP program I consistently find nuggets of information that reinforce my beliefs or direct my attention to new ways of thinking.  I am keenly interested in how people learn, what empowers people to break through learning plateaus (those “aha” moments), and building confidence in adults to move forward in their lives.  The old saying “what do you want to be when you grow up” I think stays with a person forever — after all aren’t we all just children inside bigger bodies? — we just learned strategies to communicate and present ourselves in the adult world 🙂

So, I am still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up and having fun along the way.  Part of the adventure is to never stop learning and to be open to new ideas and concepts — just when you think you have things figured out, something else comes along to make you think some more, re-evaluate your beliefs and maybe reconsider what you previously held to be as “true”.  As I say to my friends — “if you come from a place of curiosity, you can never go wrong”.  That approach gets judgements out of the way and positions your mind to open up to new concepts and approaches in any situation.

I encourage any new students starting out with PIDP 3100 to embrace the blog journey and have fun with it!

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