Learning at Knowmads is different from learning in the “normal” educational system. Knowmads is part of a new generation of schools who all stand for the philosophy of “Invisible Learning”. Invisible learning being the kind of learning that cannot be made measurable or comparable through exams or degrees, but is still there and of high(est) value for the learner.
I think that facts are of not much value if they are not skilfully being connected to the context.
And to me, things such as communication and awareness are skills. Things one can learn and train, but that are sometimes not easy to grasp and need a lot of practice.
Facts are things that do not shift, can be proven scientifically and learnt rationally.
We know how important social skills are whenever we work together. Skills such as being able to sense how the mood in a group shifts and knowing how one can influence that – through simple actions such as speaking up. This is not a skill one can replace with rational knowledge, there is not one sentence one can learn and repeat without having to twist it to fit the context.
For me, learning to be more aware of myself and of the group is not as easy as learning a set amount of facts out of my biology book. It takes me a lot more time – plus I cannot break it into pieces. Whenever I have learnt something I realize that there is so much more space to grow into and to get better.
Skills and facts are different things – and learning skills is different from learning facts. I have thought and reflected a lot about what I learn at Knowmads – often because it was not that easy to grasp.
But one main difference that I found quite obvious when comparing Knowmads and thus an alternative education system to the regular education system (that I have experienced in France and in Germany) was that we have this strong emphasis on learning social skills – invisible skills that have a great impact. And I wish the regular educational system would provide more space for that.
I honestly think that learning skills is as important as learning facts – if not more important in the sense that it should come first. Because I am convinced that only with facts I would not be able to go very far.
But to me it seems as if we mean mostly learning facts when we talk or think about learning. Correct me if that is wrong – but isn´t today a well-educated person someone who knows a lot of facts? Of course well-educated also means that one knows how to behave in society, has manners etc. But a common first association with the term is that someone has a high degree from the university.
I have nothing against Ph. D.s – I have nothing against knowing a lot of facts – but I think there should be more to it. I think nowadays well educated should mean that one knows how to apply knowledge, how to connect it to the context. I think being well educated should mean that one has the (broad) knowledge AND the skills.
This feels much more complete to me.
Many people say that social skills are important. Companies name them as number-one priorities when they hire new employees. But still the regular education system does not provide a lot of space to learn and train them.
In fact, it seems that we mostly get the facts there – and everything else more from our family and friends.
For some people this works out quite well. They learned enough with their family and friends, their learned enough in the different context at the university, and then they adapted quite well to the new context they encountered when they started working.
But shouldn´t we create more space for something as important?
I believe we should do that.
Social skills have a potent impact on the way we work together – and on our effectiveness as well. I will go one step further and say that they are what we need if we want to apply our knowledge the best way possible and do great work with it.
And our world needs more great work.
Learning skills and facts and tools is an approach to learning that makes sense to me. It is much more holistic. Yes, it can be invisible while we learn it and sometimes we realize only with hindsight that we have already gotten so much better. But then academies, universities and (business) school should probably not be measured by the marks their students get in their exams but by HOW their students work once they are out there in the real world.