“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”

Chinese proverb


A recent conversation with several back-to-the-classroom teachers netted the comment: “What we’re really teaching,” one teacher said, “is how to teach yourself. That’s what you need to be successful in life…to have the ability to learn what you need to learn, when you need to learn it.”

As summer draws to a close, younger students are heading back to school…hopefully to learn how to learn. Those no longer in established learning institutions are left to learn on their own.

Learning is defined as “the act, process, or experience of gaining knowledge or skill,” or “knowledge or skill gained through schooling or study.” Malcolm Knowles (1913-1997), pioneer in adult education and sometimes referred to as the “father of adult education,” wrote several well-respected treatises to address the fact that many people closed their books, and sometimes their minds, halfway through life. He spent his entire career promoting the methods and benefits of adult education, expounding on the concept of “andragogy,” adult learning, as distinctly different from “pedagogy,” or child learning.

In developing his expertise on andragogy, Knowles identified six critical areas that need to be present for successful adult learning outcomes: 1) need to know, 2) foundation, 3) self-concept, 4) readiness, 5) orientation, and 6) motivation. While these concepts can be applied to learning at any age, it is the first –need to know–that becomes more applicable as learners age.

Continuing education has a myriad of benefits, other than the obvious prospect of a more lucrative career. There is also enhanced self-esteem that comes from reaching for new horizons and tackling tough challenges, as well as the joys of accomplishment.

Whether you are interested in helping a child improve learning capabilities, or looking to broaden your personal horizons, Hemi-Sync® can help.

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