Philosophy of Learning

As a student who’s embarked on its twelfth year, it’s time to start planning for my future ahead. What skills will I take with me after I’ve claimed my diploma? The pythagorean theorem, the kinetic energy equation, Shakespeare? This begs the question about what my true purpose at school is. I wonder if everything that I am learning will actually come into use when I have a life outside of school. The real answer is that there is so much more that our schools could be focusing on. This may mean that we need to break out of traditional beliefs. We stay within the lines because we don’t want to be wrong. I’ve bitten my tongue because I took a question in another direction than my peers. Instead of creating a space where everyone’s ideas are appreciated, we’ve created a community where our main goals are to get approval and have the same answer as everyone else.

Margaret Wheatley in her writing, “Willing to Be Disturbed” perfectly illustrates our generation’s thought process in a classroom. Wheatley adds, “Sometimes we hesitate to listen for differences because we don’t want to change” (Wheatley 3). We need to be willing to move into the unknown. We should spend time listening for what challenges our beliefs. In the documentary, “If You Build It”, the students were pushed past what they know into a world that was uncomfortable, but also allowed them to truly express themselves. We all live life differently, and each experience furthers our learning.

Furthermore, Ashley McCall had thought-provoking ideas about changing our school systems in, “What if We Radically Reimagined the New School year?”. Over the years, schools have been run the same. But with the pandemic, it forced everyone to transition into a new way of life. Instead of conforming to the norm, we should take this opportunity to change. McCall writes, “When we structure students learning around their lived experiences… they grow to care about and for one another” (McCall). This prepares us to be better humans; to sympathize with our peers. McCall also mentions that by not having this school system, “It tells our children to dream of a better future instead of a better now” (McCall). We have the capacity to enact these changes. We can educate students to foster a better world. Once students leave the classroom, no one will be there holding their hand. It should be our school’s aspiration to make sure we are fully equipped to go into the real world. Education should be built around the students. Why? Because it’s their education, and they deserve to have a voice. If this means taking more time to listen to everyone or taking time to be confused, that’s a risk worth taking. As a student who’s been in the same educational system for twelve years, it’s time to prepare us for a world of happiness and fulfillment. It’s our chance to break out from tradition and go towards our greatest potential. 

Published by Ellie Lim

Hi! I'm Ellie, and I'm a Senior at Glenbrook North High School. Some of my interests include synchronized figure skating, spending time with my friends and family, and being with my dog. For synchro, I compete on behalf of Team USA!

4 thoughts on “Philosophy of Learning

  1. Ellie, this is written so well! I love how you were able to tie so many sources and quotes into your writing which I think made it a lot stronger! I also appreciate how you connected it to Covid because it shows how you are able to make connections to real current issues. I can’t wait to see what else you will write on here 🙂


  2. First of all your blog is really easy on the eyes and visually very pleasing. I like your starting and how you bring up topics that overall will have no effect on your future career or what you want to do in life. I also love the fact that you bring up how we want to stay in the lines because we don’t want to be wrong. I believe that can stand for our school, community, and now students are feeling the need to feel like that as well.


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