From Compassion to Wisdom and Back Again

Inspired by the post of a class peer about MOOCS this week our 622 group took a fork in the path, choosing the route less travelled and it was an exceptionally fortuitous move. In examining initiatives like the MOOC, the DOCC and other innovative approaches to contemporary learning we become aware of what we aspire for in shaping the future of society, how we might set about creating environments that will achieve these aspirations, and can then reflect on the success or limitations of contemporary innovations in the pursuit of these goals. Our exploration continued with George Siemens’ (2015) Learning with MOOCS Keynote presentation at Columbia University and his Elearningspace post of September 9, Adios Ed. Tech. Hola something else.  We began to question the kind of world we want to leave to future generations, how we can make sure it is a world they will want to inhabit, and how contemporary educational landscapes can foster this ideal. An what might we do?

It is becoming apparent that merely acquiring an education and expanding our global knowledge banks is not enough to solve the intractable problems we as a global society face. A third dimension must infiltrate our teaching and learning if we are to be equipted to help one another to find solutions. The missing dimension is humanity, a dimension that is replete with compassion, understanding and a willingness to reach out and smooth the path of those who share this global space with us.

Two resources stood out this week, the first, Wisdom: The Forgotten Dimension?, and the second, The Science of Compassion: Kindness Is a Fundamental Human Trait. In considering and integrating the dimension of humanity that may be absent from our outcome based approach we may move closer to developing the heart in our students and ourselves and in so doing make the world a better place.

In acknowledging this dimension we can begin to find ways to nurture humanity in contemporary education.