Open Future NZ "All real education is self motivated and self directed."

Educational Engagement

  Creating trusted connections between people that make new learning and innovation possible.  

Thinking and doing are intimately connected.  As Jacob Bronowski said in "The Ascent of Man", that "the world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation" (pg. 115).  And so "the hand is the cutting edge of the mind" (pg. 116).  Modern education theory agrees about the importance of Local Filedoing something in order to learn about ourselves and the world we live in. 

There is no better way to understand who you are, than to examine the groups that accept you as a member, and the people who act as sources of authority in your life.  All the Local Fileimportant learning in your life is inspired and moderated by the opinions of other people.  Your sense of membership helps you choose what is or isn't important.  You give time and attention to things that are culturally valuable.  The people you associate with determine what forms of knowledge are valid in your eyes, and even what type of questions it's possible to ask. 

We've discovered that the ability to read a book or a newspaper does not automatically translate into the ability to read and use the data on a computer screen.  First of all there is the problem of coping with the sheer volume of data.  Many of us get over 100 email letters a day, but I hear people who get 10 complaining about overload.  Local File Information literacy involves the skill to choose from the email and the search engine results, what one needs to give attention too.  It also includes the confidence to find and join online groups and to participate in the discussions those groups are having. 

To maintain one's knowledge and skills in today's world each of us needs to build into our lives certain Local Fileinformation practices that make it possible to keep engaged with what our professional and social groups are doing.  If you do these simple things in a regular way, you will become an information source for others, and the information you personally need will tend to flow your way through the groups you have chosen to join. 

Professor Graham Nuthall
Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education.