Ownership of learning

Learning is what shapes and ultimately defines us. The path we are going to follow for the duration of our life is enabled by our education. And while learning is one of the most important aspects of life, the ownership of learning is often overlooked. People rarely have control over their learning. And when they do, it’s only partial.

In the first part of one’s life parents are mostly in charge of their education. Most parents try to influence their children to follow a path they believe will offer the best outcome. Others try to have their unfulfilled dreams come true through their offspring. Either way, they strip the ownership of learning and enforce their own views upon their children’s education.

Then comes school, college, master’s degree, MBA and other forms of education. Here, the educational system plays an important role. Each country, along with its institutions, is responsible for programs of study, subjects and curriculum. These are mostly under the control of politicians, teachers, trainers or personal development experts.

Once one reaches adulthood and gets employed, their career path is in the hands of their employer. Courses, training, shadowing programs, training on the job, certifications and continuous education are all decided mostly by the employer.

Thus, most people end up having their education being decided for them by someone else for the entire duration of their life.

Without ownership of education, the paths people follow are dictated by almost anyone except the person actually receiving the education. And let’s be honest, most of our educational systems are failing their students. The skills we teach our kids and employees are outdated, in an outdated format and boring. This creates a lot of people being unhappy with their education, jobs and ultimately, their life. Force-feeding education leads to unhappy people and poor results.

On the other hand, people who take ownership of their education have better results and are happier with their careers and personal life. This is an important aspect that both the person in charge of the education and the one receiving it should be aware of and strive to obtain.

We need to change our way of teaching, the skills we teach and who has the ownership of learning.