Three Pills to Demystify Learning!


Here is a back story!

I have read a book and I have been caught by the verb “demystify” which is obvious in its meaning, but it made me leave my “writer’s block” and start thinking about my teaching philosophy and writing this article! Of course, teaching exists to serve learning! And learning is seen as a mystery by so many people – just “don’t get me started” on the many stories I have on that from my students, trainees, and people I meet when they first start talking about their learning journey!

To make those stories useful and beneficial for my Teacher Reflection’s sake and for everyone, I landed on a fruitful land filled with some key answers which I prefer to call pills. So, let us not get poetic, but I really enjoy having new answers to empower our journey of seeking quality education! I think we talked the talk so let’s walk the walk!

Pill One:

This pill and the following ones are labeled “Meta-Skills” which help in providing key skills of learning. You can find different versions of meta-skills, but I chose only three of them which I find practical based on my experience as a human being and as a teacher, a trainer, and an educational animator.

Self-awareness is “the name of the game” for any human journey! It is seen as an onion, according to Mark Manson, filled with layers. However, I do advise you to read “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle to start this journey well. For me, this journey should be lived by and in all our parts as human beings. For example, we should be able to understand the relation between our blood type and character, what type of food makes us feel good and what doesn’t, and so on. The main purpose is to have a Body Intelligence where we should have a harmonious understanding of our parts as human beings. In addition, there is a specific self-awareness related to learning which adds knowing your learning profile to the journey to enhance performance and quality. Since we live in the Age of advanced technology and Data, a smartwatch or ring may help us collect some useful data to be used for better learning.

Pill Two:

Creativity is a crucial meta-skill that empowers your learning journey to make it meaningful and effective! Mind Maps which are developed by Tony Buzan represent a good example of how creativity can serve learning. Those tools, which are made also possible as a software version, took Buzan a long journey of investigating the relationship between memory and the brain. This shows the importance of science and research in finding ways “To Sharpen the Saw” as Stephen R. Covey mentions it in “the seven Habits of the Highly Effective People.” Arts, school clubs, and community clubs are practical tools to enhance creativity because they provide a ‘less stressful’ environment of learning and experimenting.

Pill Three:

If self-awareness was the ‘name’ of the game, then resilience is the ‘game’ of the game! Learning has never and should never be a celebration! It is always a journey! Carol Dweck has already paved the way for us to ‘Think Growth’ because it is the way that corresponds with our human nature. For example, this language that I am using to express my thoughts and ideas was once my ‘scary school subject’ in which I would hide from my teacher! Moreover, my stories and yours may be endless when it comes to how we stood after falling, but we should always keep that spirit because it is THE GAME OF GAME!

To prepare ourselves and those we are planning to help, we need to open a discussion on the difference between education and schooling and how informal education provides wonderful opportunities to enhance our meta-skills! Daily observation of nature and humans, discussions, reflections, hiking, and so on are wonderful sources of having more self-awareness, creativity, and resilience.

Yahya Echattoui

is a teacher of English at Ibn Batouta Public High School, Mediouna, Casablanca. He is also a soft skills facilitator with AEFSTM at FST, faculty of Science and Technology, Mohamadia. Yahya is also a public speaking coach, trainer and judge, business pitching coach, debate trainer and jury member (WSDC and LD formats), trainer of AGILE LEADERSHIP, and an IVLP alumnus.

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