John Dewey, one of the foundational theorists of adult education, would approve of writing a report on your educational experiences. Putting your thoughts down on paper is an opportunity to reflect on how your educational experiences have shaped your life. As well as formal education, it is important to scrutinise informal, non-formal and continuing education. We never stop learning, so as well as educational experiences you have had, identify becoming a self-actualised learner as your goal.
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Review you formal education experiences, both good and bad. Look at "formal" education as anything that required attendance and was graded. Divide your formal education into segments of primary and secondary education. Then move on to look at technical training or university classes you have taken.
Assess your informal education. This is sometimes referred to as the "hidden" curriculum. This type or education often goes unrecognized. It involves picking up the norms and values of the institution without formal lessons. Reflect on whether it made you a leader or someone who will do as she is told.
Evaluate your non-formal education. Educational experiences that come under this rubric include conferences, informal learning projects, studying a foreign language or leaning from the life-experience stories of your elderly neighbour. Write about how these educational experiences made you feel. Use action verbs and adjectives to describe your emotions.
Identify future educational goals and aspirations. Decide what you want to learn in the short term -- a new recipe -- and within the next few year, which could involve an educational experience such as learning another language. Tie this in with your past educational experiences and write about the influence it had on you.
Tips and warnings
- Aim to become a self-actualised learner. This is reaching the point where educational experiences are something that you can't live without.
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- Brown University: Experience and Education by John Dewey
- UNESCO: Non-Formal Education
- OneDIY:Four Types and Stages in Education
- Tutor2U: Formal and Informal Education
- Education Resources Information Center: Self-Concept, Self-Actualization and Occupational Prestige Aspirations of Black College Students in the Virgin Islands