Universal Learning Manifesto — First Draft

Use this work-in-progress draft in any manner you think best to design and develop universal learning objectives, programs, experiences, assessments and credentials

Philosophy behind learning and living

Meaning and purpose in life has to be created by constant hacking. Be mindful of the fact that we are lucky to be here in this world and universe, and that we can understand our world and change it in our lifetime, passing on a better world for the future generations. So, do not resort to a passive, helpless attitude towards life. Find solutions, be creative, imagine, aim high and believe in yourself and others, but never let hubris catch you — maintain humility at all times.

Tips on Appropriate Mindset and Thumb-rules for Effective Lifelong Learning

Have a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset: You can learn new things, you can get better at things by learning and practice, you are never too old to learn something new.

Place kindness and generosity high in your value-system.

Be aware of the importance of meta-learning training: The art and science of how to master your mind.

Respect and be happy in autotelic learning — learning for learning’s sake — but do also keep a healthy balance with application of that learning. Applied philosophy, applied arts, applied science — applied everything. It might seem like a lost opportunity if you only kept learning but never made any impact on the world. So, maintain the joy of learning as well as its application in parallel.

Practice data-driven, scientific thinking along with wisdom of knowing when emotions should control you, and when to keep them under control.

How to proceed with a learning program for a given learner

Evaluate the learner’s current knowledge and skills (a diagnostic test/prior-learning assessment). Then try to understand the learner’s bent and aspirations. And use these findings to guide design of the learning program.

Knowing when people learn the best

People learn the best when they are:

  • free to explore their passions and interests
  • surrounded by friendly and intellectually curious peers and mentors
  • directed by big ideas and questions
  • supported by a growth mindset
  • guided by a constant feedback loop between themselves and what they are creating/learning — they must be able to see their progress in real-time which will help in the decision-making, both in terms of creative choices as well as strategic planning.

Some Relevant Quotable Quotes

“I am convinced, however that you gather vicarious (second hand) experience best, not when you are honing up on it for an immediate purpose, but when you are pursuing it as an end in itself” — A quote by James Web Young from A Technique for Producing Ideas

“I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge” — Seymour Papert

Further Reading

The Untitled Universal Taxonomy of Learning: A taxonomy to direct your learning, life and find meaning. Also useful for learners and educators to chalk out modular educational/learning programs for attaining specific goals, assessing progress and awarding credentials.

Written by

Applied Philosophy and Sociology | Ideas are meant to be free and open, so all writings here are Public Domain Dedications — No Rights Reserved

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