We have to be responsible for our learning; we have to take responsibility for being in this world. That's my message to you. I think it is the most important message you can 'teach' a kid.
Being responsible, taking responsibility is difficult to do. It means that you are accountable for your actions. It means admitting your mistakes and errors and having to do something about it-and not blaming someone else. That's tough. I want to say 'even for adults' but let's be honest, adults aren't that great at it.
But taking responsibility for your actions, education, life, is empowering. The secret? The more you do it, the better you become at it, the more you grew as an individual.
John Gatto has said it over and over; you don't get an education.
"Nobody can give you and education. Education must be taken by those who want one. The will and dogged persistence of the seeker are the only essential tools needed to become educated. Teachers, text, money play only minor roles and papers, pencils, tests play no role at all."
That's taking responsibility on the road to self mastery.
As parents, educators, students, people interested in a learning revolution we can help a child or young person see that they have abilities, they have potential, so that they truly believe it but that they must take on that responsibility for themselves.
The challenge is one that they will want to accept.
Take very young kids. It's, "No. I do it," and "Let me!"
They want to do things; they want to challenge themselves. They are deeply insulted if you try and do it for them.
So in our commitment to revolution in education, let's nurture that compulsion for self autonomy. Let's not allow that urge for self sufficiency and inquiry be quelled or squished in our zeal to provide education.
I think we would do well to remember that when talking about autonomous, self- directed learning, our children are not the ones who need it the most. Our kids are perfect beings before the schooling mentality reaches them.
It is we, the adults, who need to divest ourselves of unexamined beliefs and the imprisoning expectations of society's well meaning people.