Learning Loss, Living Learning

Tinker Bell

Every question opens a space. A space to explore, a field to learn, a new perspective in life.

Only a couple of days ago I spoke of heroes. This past week I lost one of my heroes. This was a different kind of loss. Not the loss of a parent or child, a friend or mentor but someone who opened new ways of thinking for me, new ways of doing and learning. He was an icon to many, an inspiration and visionary. More than believe in change, he valued change and had a passion for innovation.  Through his  company’s products I too innovated, learning new skills and in the process changed many features of my own learning process.

My first desktop was a MAC. It lingers in a quiet, shaded corner, too beautiful with its elegant grey lines, too significant to me to be mindlessly thrown away. That was over 20 years ago. Today I sit here, multi-tasking, focused, at times,  mind adrift, surrounded by Apple. It is no irony that while I started my day with a kick of caffeine  and reading the day’s headlines, that the news stared coldly and blankly at me. An expected loss, perhaps. Yet the space of loss is different to the spaces opened  by questioning. All loss is a hiatus.

Throughout that day I stole moments of silence and reflection. An icon of popular culture, a necessary reference when I taught at business schools and trained in companies, Steve Jobs made me love technology with the  MACs – computers not only to perform typing tasks but  later, to connect. So much has been written about Steve Jobs; in fact, in our age of connected nodes it is almost impossible to ignore the tsunami of articles in praise or criticism offered. This is neither.

With the demise of a hero, I turn from company culture, from innovative design and technology back to education, questioning  where  the inspirational leaders in education are; those who have vision, those who through love of learning, through love of life, connect with those who are to be inspired and motivated. Teachers provide a tremendous service to their communities. There are many teachers who I could name as being great, inspirational models but each learning context needs a leader of their own. Each context is different, unique, hence educational leadership needs to be both global and local for it to make any sense.

Richard Branson reminds readers of the passion that Steve Jobs always had for Apple – no matter how ill he was. Which brings me to how does practice relate to theory in the context of learning.

Passion and belief are determining in the learning process. Without them, there are no questions, no opening of spaces. Without inquiry there is no living. Without connecting there is no learning.

Hiatuses linger.

This is a learning thread unravelling.


7 thoughts on “Learning Loss, Living Learning

  1. Pingback: Live, Love and Learn « DEAN BOWMAN

  2. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. However imagine if you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this blog could definitely be one of the very best in its niche. Awesome blog!

    • Hi Veronica,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts; really appreciate them. I suppose like all weaves this blog will take its own course. I tend to believe that blogs have a life of their own but yes, I do agree with you – nothing like like some videos to add interest and yes! they are coming when the time is right 🙂

  3. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal. I must say you have done a superb job with this. In addition, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Chrome. Outstanding Blog!

  4. I like the four ‘L’s of your title. Certainly a lot of people felt the loss of Jobs as he was in many ways a living icon for the products he and Apple produced. He was prepared to be different and swim against the stream. As you say, the ‘Hero’ as well.

    Interesting that you reference Branson’s quote about passion and I think that is often a key characteristic of people who are prepared to promote change and innovation. I think that it is Christopher Day who wrote much about the importance of ‘passion’ for successful educators – yes – his book is here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Passion-Teaching-Christopher-Day/dp/041525180X
    and a PDF of a keynote is here : http://arrts.gtcni.org.uk/gtcni/bitstream/2428/11439/1/A%20Passion%20for%20Teaching%20GTCNI%20final%20version1.pdf

    I guess most of us have experienced a teacher who was just ‘going through the motions’ at one point or another and then when we have someone who cares, who is passionate, about their subject, about learning, about student success and growth – well it is like a triple espresso with a Red Bull chaser! Not always that comfortable but it shakes things up.

    Thanks for your continued contribution.

  5. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for the references above – much appreciated.

    As for passion – both my parents were passionate and dedicated to their professions (as everyone else in my family) so even though I did not take up medicine, I am a strong believer that without passion in life there is no zest, no meaning to what one does. That holds especially true in the field of education. We may not be dealing with life and death on a daily basis but….

    I get a younger generation to listen, to think critically and to develop their voice in the world. Not easy; not simple. Not always a painless process either. But so rewarding to see students grow, mature and succeed!

    If growing as a human being, finding one’s voice and place in the world is not change, then what is?

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