The primary purpose of education in the 21st century, albeit not all inclusive, should be to teach all people how to ask the right questions, organize large quantities of information, evaluate complex information and be able to solve difficult problems.
Creating Self-Directed Learners
The primary purpose of education in the 21st century, albeit not all inclusive, should be to teach all people how to ask the right questions, organize large quantities of information, evaluate complex information and be able to solve difficult problems. In other words, the purpose of education is to impart the skills, tools and knowledge so that the “student-consumer” can independently initiate, create and navigate their own life long education and transform their learning into the professional or vocational aspiration of their choosing.
As founder of OjoOido.com, I treat the enormously devastating impact of the Latino Education Gap in this country very seriously. OjoOido.com’s operating principle is that in order to truly make significant progress in closing this education achievement gap, its efforts must be directed to our Latino youth by supplying them with a straightforward and pragmatic guide to help them take responsibility for their own learning. OjoOido.com inculcates a respect for education and a profound appreciation of the application of fundamental self-directed learning principles that Latino students can believe in.
Latino students are resourceful, talented and capable. Latino families value education and aspire to be productive and informed citizens. Latino youth want to be a part of a different and better world, but often they do not know how. One of the most powerful ways to reduce the Latino high school dropout rate, increase college attendance and improve college graduation rates, is by targeting a root problem: the minimal or complete absence of academic study strategies for the vast majority of Latino youth. Providing the Latino student population access to comprehensive, culturally relevant technical academic skills coaching and training that is systematic, disciplined and focuses on foundational concepts and principles, is critical.
Intergenerational Latino Role Models: Inculcation with Practical Application
Inculcating the value of being an independent learner in a pedagogical approach that is directly relevant to Latino youth, is without question the starting point for a sustained, scalable and, most importantly, effective methodology to build confident, motivated and self-reliant Latino students.
OjoOido.com utilizes Intergenerational Latino Role Models, whose life experiences mirror that of an overwhelmingly high percentage of Latino students in the United States and who have demonstrated, throughout their lives, a passionate belief that all students can – and will succeed – with the opportunity to learn and grow; regardless of cultural or socio-economic obstacles that may stand in their way. Collectively and expertly OjoOido.com Latino Role Models convey their hard earned practical knowledge and experience in problem solving, creating, developing and executing tactical and strategic planning to successfully reach academic and career goals. For example, the following are some (illustrative, not exhaustive) specific OjoOido Latino Role Model life lessons:
- “I recognized that I must be willing to take what I learn and test it. If I didn’t take the initiative to experiment I would not know what I was believing and thinking was worthwhile or a waste of time. I had to do it myself and not rely on someone else”;
- “Is what I am learning or doing (spending my time on) practical? Will what I am thinking, learning or doing going to get me what I want? (e.g. job, grades, profession, etc.) Will it help me or others?”;
- “Do not believe for one second that it’s enough to show up to class, do the homework and take the tests-study yourself and earn who you are. What do you love or hate? What are your strengths, weaknesses, talents/gifts, values & passions? What have you been successful at or have failed in?”;
- “It took me a long time to learn that I should not take anything for granted. Particularly thinking that I know it all and that I didn’t have to take suggestions from other people. I learned that it was a good habit to first question myself and then respectfully question what I have heard, what I see and what I am told.”;
- “Write things down on a daily basis. Such as, what is going on inside your heart and head. Why? It is unbelievable, until you do it, how it helps to workout all the stress, self-doubt and pain inside you”;
- “and, most importantly, highly value and use what you have learned outside school–namely be very careful who you hang out with, listen to and learn from!”
Lastly, from my own life experience as a student, academic affairs administrator, elementary classroom teacher, lawyer, and entrepreneur I value the role motivation plays, how good you are at setting goals, managing your time and reflecting, in order to obtain academic, professional and ultimately life success. It is those activities that will reveal where we stand with regard to independent learning. It is understanding the importance of these issues and implementing them which determines one’s attitude toward disciplined study and self reflection in middle school, high school, college, work and citizenship thereafter.
Through collective practical wisdom, expertise, creativity and impassioned zeal, together with Latino serving institutions and its administrators, teachers, parents and, most importantly, its students can we improve educational attainment. It begins with the practical application of fundamental self-directed learning principles. Our nation and all its citizens can achieve more. OjoOido.com; a sustainable, replicable and scalable Latino e-learning solution–by Latinos, for Latinos.
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