As far back as I can remember, I have had many, many, interests. I’m just into everything. I love to learn how to do things.
What I’ve noticed is that my interests go through cycles. When I was very young my grandpop and uncles would take me fishing at the beach. Fishing eventually cycled out of my primary interest and I moved on to the next interest. Presently, about 15 years later, I am cycling back around to saltwater fishing. By allowing time to pass it allowed me to take on a renewed interest that was fresh, not forced.
I am interested again. I started reading a lot of books, watched a few videos, and talked with my uncles and brothers. I was gathering information from all my sources and cross-checking it in my mind. I have done this same cyclic routine with all of my interests.
I am trying to make several points here. One, interests come in cycles, sometimes with a frequency of a decade or more. Two, I gathered information about my interest in several ways, but through reliable methods, like books, first, always. Then I bounce that information off other people. Sometimes people with similar interests are biased or superstitious about things and this can be misleading and confusing for beginning learners.
Fishing is a perfect example: where and when fish are biting usually begins with a simple statement, such as, fish bite best before sundown. From that point forward all your brain is trying to do is reinforce that concept because you think it’s true. It might be true, but until you have unbiased data you will never know.
Third point, becoming a well-rounded learner stems from having well-rounded interests. Some, dare I say a lot, of people just aren’t interested in anything. Could having an interesting mentor or social network help these people vary their interests? Not sure. Would it eventually come naturally? Also, not sure.
Lastly, I’ll just end with an idea…could teachers already be the ultimate social network? Could schools already be the most well-rounded network of reliable information? Should we trust that our interests will naturally form a well-rounded individual, or will students pigeon-hole themselves with statements like: fish bite best at sundown?