For one of the activities delegates were asked to think of a single word that they would use to describe what learning means to them.
Which words were chosen?
We had group discussions about the words we had chosen. In one group the words were:
Inspirational because learning inspires people to do more and achieve more than they thought possible. Hearing individual learner journeys is inspirational. It was also agreed that EPALE is inspirational to everyone in the group.
Growth because learning helps individuals to grow, in large or small steps. It is personal development, and a continuous activity, though at times it is a challenge to keep up with the pace.
Inclusive because learning is should be for all regardless of background, culture or previous experience. However, it was agreed that this is not always the case and often those who have had the least educational opportunities are not able to access further learning.
Transformative because learning is life changing. It provides second chances.
Lifelong because we never stop learning.
Equality because learning provides a chance for everyone. It also provides opportunities for us to know and understand other people.
Progress as learning involves following a pathway and moving forward.
Movement as learning can involve physical activity. Learning takes place in daily life moving from one situation to another.
Empowerment because learning gives people the tools they need to make the changes they want to make.
Purpose because people often engage in formal learning to achieve something such as a new skill or a qualification. Also, learning can give people a purpose in life, a motivation.
Learning a new skill
Delegates were also given the opportunity to learn a new skill. Linda Winnett, an art and calligraphy tutor told us about the history of scripts, lettering and calligraphy and then helped us to write our chosen word in Uncial font. It was really interesting and enjoyable to learn and practice a new skill.
If you had to choose one word to describe what learning means to you, what would you choose?
About the Author
Cath Harcula has been involved in adult learning for over 30 years, Cath is currently the chair for the National Family Learning Forum in England and is also an Ambassador for EPALE UK. Read more about Cath here.
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