This blog post by Maarten van Doorn on education really hit home for me today. van Doorn writes about how the educational system has made learning into a specific set of rote actions designed to pass a specific test, in order to get to the “next level” of your education, and eventually your career.
He worries that this kind of thinking leads to people abandoning their learning once they complete high school or university, since there is no “next level” to get to once you have a job.
We all know someone who’s been at the office for 30 years and claims to have 30 years of experience, but actually has one year repeated 30 times.
He contrasts this with learning as a process of personal development that is ongoing, lifelong and enjoyable in and of itself.
There is a pure joy, a sweet, childlike delight, that comes from just learning and trying to get better. Looking back, you will find that the best years of, say, coding or drawing or scuba-diving or belly-dancing were those you spent on the learning curve, when there was exaltation in the mere act of doing.
In his view, learning is a part of the human experience. To make it something that is formal and restricted to a specific phase of your life robs you of some part of your humanity.
Never stop learning.