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We are all learning something new every day and most of us have learned that an appropriate education is important for getting a job or creating an own business. But an important question is how can we be more efficient in our learning experiences which is eMindSet’s focus.

This article is for understanding how we can improve our education based on science and personal needs for international exchange of knowledge.

United Nations and Education for Sustainable Development

When we are looking at the need of learning a new language we want to put it into a context where our lives are more and more affected by the international communication. It is therefore natural to bring up United Nations and the report ”Shaping the future we want: UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014); final report

A key question is to ask what is sustainable development? According to United Nations definition from 1987, ”Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

UNESCO is the lead agency, ”wants to prepares people of all walks of life to plan for, cope with, and find solutions for issues that threaten the sustainability of our planet.” –UNESCO (2005a, p. 7)

Extensive partnerships and networks – within and between sectors – have been key to the successful accomplishments of the Decade. Children, youth and students have played an important role as agents of change, participating actively in discussions that affect their future, advocating for a transformation in their learning environments and bringing the messages of sustainability and global citizenship home to parents and communities.”

UN use global citizenship which is not described anywhere what they really mean and needs to be further analyzed. It can be seen as an open description of people who are living on the same planet but it can also be seen as a claiming that you belong to a world governance. It is also mentioned that the citizens brings home to parents and communities which seem as some kind of indoctrination and not a mutual interaction including parents, communities and the society. This inspires us to bring in critical thinking and to learn more. We encourage you to think and search by yourself after reading our article!

The Decade provides a solid base for scaling up our efforts to prepare the citizens of tomorrow to respond to the challenges of today. ESD advances quality education through more innovative ways of teaching and learning and the engagement of all stakeholders.”

UNESCO have created a roadmap which brings up their continuing work from 2015 which raise some questions which we are interested in to follow from an international, national and personal perspective. UNESCO Roadmap for Implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development

”ESD has yet to complete its integration into the mainstream of the education and sustainable development agendas. Furthermore, sustainable development challenges have acquired even more urgency since the beginning of the Decade and new concerns have come to the fore, such as the need to promote global citizenship. Consequently, a scaling-up of ESD actions is required.”

Critical thinking and why education is so important

Neuro Education

Bob Jickling questioning this in his article Why I Don’t Want my Children to be Educated for Sustainable Development: Sustainable Belief”. He wants our children to be educated but about the criticism in educating in sustainable development not as something all agree on. He explains it by taking his 9 year old son as an example where he points out the importance of seeing existing relationships.

“Should education aim to advance a particular end such as sustainable development? Is it the job of education to make people behave in a particular way?”

For example, my son at nine years of age, could go to a map of the world and identify an astonishing number of countries, but this was hardly sufficient to convince me that he was educated. We expect the educated person to have some understanding of the relationships between these bits of information which enable a person to make some sense of the world; the educated person should have some understanding about why a relationship exists. We might also wonder if the ability to think critically is a necessary criterion for the educated person. Again we would expect to find considerable agreement; we would be reluctant to say that a person was educated if we judged that he or she could not think for him or herself.”

We need more knowledge especially in language, notified by Ann-Christine Valberg in her paper Nordic Comparative Analysis of Guidelines for Quality and Content in Early Childhood Education

The competences believed most important in a situation of global, multi-polar competition are good outcomes in a limited number of skills areas, especially language (communication in the mother tongue and foreign languages), mathematics, science and technology, along with metacognitive learning, social competence, cultural awareness and entrepreneurship”

We are all in one or another way faced to the importance of ”selling” and Daniel Pink has brought up a great point related to the ABC’s which we add to the knowledge of education and sustainability development. Ambiverts, Problem-Finders, and the Surprising Psychology of Making Your Ideas Happen

Pink goes on to outline “the new ABCs of moving others” — attunement (“the ability to bring one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people an with the context you’re [sic] in”), buoyancy (a trifecta of “interrogative self-talk” that moves from making statements to asking questions, contagious “positivity,” and an optimistic “explanatory style” of explaining negative events to yourself), and clarity (“the capacity to help others see their situations in fresh and more revealing ways and to identify problems they didn’t realize they had”).

When comparing what we are learning as adults and children there is a clear connection. We need to bring in individual, inspiring, positive and playfulness. It is also pointed out in a report for pre-school children that we need dialogue, participation and interaction. But as the UNICEF report and critics and Daniel Pink shows it is valid for older students and adults as well.

Early childhood educators role more generally to contribute to children’s language development is problematic in the form of the idea of a balance between the child’s own play world and the teacher’s inspiration language making. Finally, highlighted the fact that how adults use language also reflects the attitudes and values that children are being affected by. All these aspects and suggestions for activities with children are central in preschool practice. But no one really talking about, or use the terms dialogue, participation and interaction – key concepts for the child to become an active participating partner in their language learning.

We need to have a plan and set goals for succeeding with our learning

To be passionate about something is the most important then we “only” need to know how to accomplish what we want to achieve. David Bailey has described how he taught himself a new language within only 17 days. “The Secret to Learning a Foreign Language as an Adult

David Bailey book and glasses

Every morning he wrote for hand during 1.5-2 hours since he believe it is the best way to memorize things. While he wrote he listened to a recorded language course twice. The lunchtime he spent with friends who only spoke the language without caring about slowing down when talking with him and he was forced to speed up or starve. On the afternoons he listened to music with and read books especially children books which he thought was both funny and easier to start with.

To use at least an hour daily to repeat the standard phrases like where are you from and what do you like etc. are essential as an ice breaker in all communication. Learn also to use the filler words since they give you more self confidence and even if they are not necessary you feel more comfortable. They give you also time to remember other words for the conversation.

Another great advice for learning and achieve something is described by Arno Ilgner a climber. He explains it very well in his article, “A Different Way of Setting Goals

Arno Ligner

  1. Be present in the moment and set up process goals. it is easily understood since you cannot climb anywhere if your thoughts are somewhere else than focused on where you are right now and give 100% of your attention.
  2. The learning process, be in the moment and focus on what you are doing and the next step to accomplish no thinking about the end goals. They only give you expectations and end goals are for your vision but never let them distract you.
  3. Be committed meaning that you immediately follow up with a decision. This is why the present and process goals are so important you cannot accomplish anything if focusing on end goals.

There are no learning styles we are learning from everything and it depends on the topic and context what is best suited. But we can always work for combining and including new learning by using different tools and methods as Christian Jarret has written about in his article, All You Need to Know About the ‘Learning Styles’ Myth, in Two Minutes and Sacha Chua’s sketch clearly shows.

Sacha Chua learning

Looking forward to hear from you,

Christer Edman & Veronica Rebora

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Post Author: Veronica och Christer

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