I love this new campaign by Khan Academy. It speaks some very empowering messages for all of us (and it speaks to me personally as a homeschooling parent and an avid learner).
1. Learning is for everyone. Learning is not only for preschool kids or college students. It is not only for those who are deemed bright or studious. It is not only for those living near university campuses or for those with computers and Internet access. If you want to learn something, you need to open your eyes and your mind to the learning opportunities and possibilities around you.
2. Failing is an important part of learning. According to Stanford Professor Carol Dweck, studies show that intelligence is not fixed, not at birth, not in your teenage years, not now. She talks about a growth mindset, a belief that you can become smarter or perform better if you work hard at it. People with a growth mindset are not afraid to fail or to make mistakes. They learn from failing. They persevere in the face of a challenge. In that process, they grow smarter.
3. Success comes with persistence. Singer-songwriter John Legend talks about how he didn’t give up on his dream to become a recording artist. For six years, he kept trying and failing. He persisted, learned from failing and eventually succeeded. Talent alone will rarely bring you success. Hard work is essential to success.
I’m a huge fan of free knowledge and free learning. I admire what Khan Academy is giving the world – a means of learning that is “for free, for everyone, forever.” Now, add to that their beautiful message of empowerment. If you want to, you can learn anything.