Everybody must have the doubt more or less as why do we live. It is kind of ironic that we tend to think more about it when we are sad, when we are down at the bottom of our life. When things go so smoothly that we just go with the life and hardly think about the meaning of life. I think that it is the same with the question why do we learn. It is usually when the teaching and learning failed, we will stop, take a look at the path we have been on, and think about the significance of learning. Michael Wesch (2008) said that “the most significant problem with education today is the problem of significance itself.” (p.5) I think that is a good point that need to be address and thought by all the students and teachers in education, especially higher education.
When we come to the phase of higher education, learning sometimes become a machine of routine. We have accomplished our K-12, we go through the exams, we finally come to the stage where we should get higher education. But we often lose the reason and the meaning of learning on our way here. Day after day, we are sitting in classes, accepting the “knowledge” from teachers, and accomplishing assignments before due days. We are doing a mindless learning if we don’t keep think about the big picture. Sometimes life and learning are too hard, we are just too into a piece of it, and forget to seek the significance. However, the danger of mindless learning is that we might realize that we waste too much time on meaningless stuff one day, and it is too late to make up to it. We don’t want that to happen, then we need to conduct mindful learning.
But how to do mindful learning? We need to seek of the meaning of learning and remember that all the time. Going back to the original intention of learning could be a way to remind ourselves the significance of learning. Why human started learning? I think we do it for seeking a better way of living for ourselves and for our society in rude times. So “the value of uncertainly” (Langer, 2000, p. 15) should be an important part in our learning when we try to find a way to the future. Doubts about the learning and knowledge should be valued and encouraged. I think doubts are the root of thinking and creating. When we are trying to do mindful learning, the first thing we need to remember the original intention of learning, thus, we can remind ourselves the significance of learning. The second thing we need to keep in mind is that we need to have doubts and raise questions about learning.
Langer, E. J. (2000). Mindful learning. Current directions in psychological science, 9(6), 220-223.
Wesch, M. (2008). Anti-teaching: Confronting the crisis of significance. Education Canada, 48(2), 4-7.