As a retired college professor and lifelong learning I have this to say…

The purpose of education is to help you learn how to teach yourself to solve whatever difficulties or challenges you may face. Too much of education is focused on memorizing facts and following someone else’s directions rather than finding your own direction and seeking what you need to know to fulfill it.

Throughout my life whenever I encountered a problem (such as, for instance, understanding the anxiety that blocked me from taking the risks I needed to take; or trying to understand why my relationships kept failing, or how to deal with my 6-year-old’s temper tantrums after her father and I divorced…) I would go to the library or bookstore. I would read both fiction and nonfiction looking for examples and insights as other people dealt with their challenges. I’d sort out how my situation was similar or different, seek my own insights into those challenges.

School can’t teach you everything you need to know. It can’t even give you a foundation in all the basics you need to live a full and satisfying life. What it CAN do is teach you how to find the resources you need for the answers you seek. It can teach you the thinking PROCESS whereby you sort good information from bad, relevant from irrelevant, and arrive at reasonable answers that apply to your own life.

It’s an ongoing process of constant revision as you grow throughout your life.

And here’s the thing. I was limited by what my local libraries offered, and what I could afford to buy. Today you have almost everything you need at the tip of your fingers, at virtually no cost.

If you have children, help them learn how to learn. Then they will always be able to find what they need when they need it.

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Georgia NeSmith

Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.