I believe in education that is hands-on and real: ‘Living it’!
I have been pondering over educational models for adults. I have worked in the New Zealand education sector as a principal for twenty years and have had many individual conversations with school leavers and university graduates. I have become acutely aware of the questions and pressures during this transition phase into independent adulthood. Many seem to yearn to learn practical skills and for community but at the same time, express the need for a high degree of individual freedom. The current classical tertiary model has its place but does not really respond to that yearning.
I imagine and wish for education to be
1. an individual life-long learning journey that is supported by an inter-generational community or network which fosters a sense of connectedness;
2. a community of practice where one learns useful skills that empower and lead to meaningful work and contribution;
3. a place of support, creativity and inspiration for life’s core questions, providing a scaffolding for anyone in a phase of transition, who might be living with the question of ‘What’s next?’ and more importantly ‘What matters to me?’ and ‘What is my task?’
With two like-minded friends and colleagues, I recently established the Toru Education Trust to transform some of these imaginations into reality. Toru’s mission is:
To provide experiential education opportunities that nurture people, planet and spirit, and to encourage the self organized creation of such opportunities.