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Stoa Digest #55: 🏛 Community Learning 🤼
There's miles left to run, miles and miles...
Today’s editorial is written by the team
A little throwback to kick things off. Aditya wrote this prompt for Day 02 of Stoa’s first cohort about Community learning.
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John Holt was an American author, educator, and a passionate advocate for homeschooling. A pioneer in the field of learning and pedagogy, he once said:
We destroy the love of learning in children, which is so strong when they are small, by encouraging and compelling them to work for petty and contemptible rewards — gold stars, or papers marked 100 and tacked to the wall, or A's on report cards, or honor rolls, or dean's lists — in short, for the ignoble satisfaction of feeling that they are better than someone else.
Clearly, he wasn't one to mince words. In fact, he later went on to call his learning process "unschooling" — a term I'm sure you will resonate with.
But seriously, how do we LEARN? What keeps us motivated, curious, and accountable while learning? And what kind of a role does the community play in learning? These were some fundamental questions that drove our inquiry and led us to building Stoa School.
In his book, the Pedagogy of the Opressed, Paul Fiere coins a term called “The Banking Model of Education”.
He succicintly defined it as: Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is the "banking" concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits.
Learning or education in this case merely means trasnference of information rather than actual creation of knowledge.
We’ve all been a part of this model in varying capacity whether its in school or college.
We’ve received information from instructors and replicated them on exam answer papers. And once we were done with education at that point, we went out into the world and we were mostly lost to the complex mechanisms of how systems, people, economies operate.
Most of us suck at reflecting, because we’ve never learned how to ruminate over information and ideas.
Take a shot if you asked a lot of “why” questions in a class room and the teacher turned you down. Which led you to being afraid of asking questions in groups today.
Take another shot, if the only way you were able to make it through your exams was: by sharing/copying notes, spending evenings at study groups, asking your friends or front benchers to explain complex information to you just a few hours before the exams began.
Take a third shot, if you felt like after finishing your education, despite those hours of classes and learnings, you felt like you held nothing actually actionable in your head.
Well if you’re now three shots down and understand each other a little better.
Which brings me to community learning as a Stoan.
Community learning is about coming together to leverage collective knowledge towards a common goal.
Its about you putting yourself in positions of discomfort and exposing your ideas and thoughts to a group of new faces.
Its about coming together whether a team or group, to leverage whats been put in front of you to get the best out of each other.
It means listening ideas you don’t necessarily agree with. You will question your own ideas or thoughts that you held firm. You might feel frustrated about your own pace. You will need to hold others accountable, which also means allowing others to hold you accountable and to a higher standard.
But it also means being kind to yourself and allowing yourself to make mistakes and stumble with others.
Most importantly, it means you’re not alone in this journey. And the journey, well it hardly ends after six months.
The magic your create during your time here and after is yours. The late night conversations, the discussions/arguments in breakout rooms, winning together, losing together, trips to coasts and hills, prime numbers sigils, listening parties, food walks. This is all for you to keep.
So if you’ve read so far, I leave you with a prompt:
- Reach out to someone from your first team at Stoa, and share a note or even appreciation on something they helped you learn.
Always remember, if you want to go far, pull your socks up and shake your buddies awake.
The marathon continues 🏃♀️🏃🏃♂️
📣 Announcements 📣
If you haven’t heard, we’re moving to Wednesdays and we have an amazing line up planned for this month!
July 6th: We kick off the month off with another Community Mixer!
July 20th: Rescheduled and not-forgotten, we finally can have a sit down with the founders of Fampay about their journey and building fintech for teens!
July 27th: On the last Wed of the month we’re joined by Shobhit & Ujwal, the authors of The Startup Compass, a new book that’s making waves in the startup ecosystem. »Register Here«
🥳 🎂Birthday Parttaaayy! 🥳 🎂
A very happy birthday to Aravind K! 🎂🎊🎁
UPCOMING BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK
5th July: Shreya Thaker
6th July: Henil Shah
🐝 Community Buzz 🐝
Meetups meetups meetups!!
🥲 Meme Wars 🥲
This week’s shiny new winner of Best Meme goes to …………
Saumya Saxena for this gem 🤣
Until next week amigos 👋👋