The concept behind learning is no secret. Neither is it a mystery. It gets initiated so spontaneously in childhood without any triggers whatsoever (what with the little learning minds constantly trespassing into the peaceful existence of the satiated adult minds with their relentlessly curious queries).
But, unfortunately, this state of mind is not to continue forever, because, there comes that most dreaded numbing u-turn for most of these souls… getting boxed in a rigid structure nailed by the dictum that says, “This, this, and this is what you’re supposed to learn”… and getting injected with an unhealthy ambition that says, “You HAVE to excel in your ‘studies’, so you could excel in life.”
This ‘intrusion’ suddenly changes the very trajectory, shifting the focus from the DESIRE TO LEARN to ACHIEVING THINGS IN LIFE. That, in turn, impacts the way information gets processed… it’s more to regurgitate during exams what’s been swallowed in a hurry, so one could get more scores… only to be forgotten once unloaded on the ‘paper’. Learning? Zilch!
Consequently, this has serious repercussions in later parts of life because the TRUE QUEST TO LEARN had, long back, got extinguished and what stares in the eye is nothingness, an upshot of that meaningless processing of information.
And, against this backdrop, the concept of ‘learning to LEARN’ resurrects with a renewed sense of purpose and urgency… and, with a strong reiteration of the message: WHAT YOU LEARN IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS HOW YOU LEARN… awesomely explained by Clark Quinn in this post, albeit in a slightly different context. But, the essence remains the same. “…graduates from those courses might be out of date before long, unless they’ve learned how to stay current. Unless they’ve learned meta-learning. That can be added in, and it may be implicit, but I’ll suggest that learning to learn is a more valuable long-term outcome than the immediate employability”.