My 2020 vision: how past interests feed our future
I’ve always considered myself a visual learner. As a student I found it hard to take in lots of spoken information and needed my own copy of whatever text was being discussed to annotate and doodle on. My revision notes always turned into some kind of colour-coordinated 'key word' picture, with inter-connected thoughts joined together by lines.
[Image credit: Why Mind Mapping?]
As part of my post-graduate in special educational needs (a career switch from marketing after having children) I read a lot about how children think and learn. I believe people learn in different ways, and therefore educators should cater to a range of learning styles. However, more recent studies suggest that while people may have different learning style preferences, in terms of helping them learn it may be more effective for educators to focus on identifying what learners already know and - importantly - want to know about, and helping them make connections between that and new information.
While the concept of building on existing knowledge isn’t new, the idea that we should take more account of what individual learners want to know presents challenges for classroom educators. The importance and value placed on 'academic’ subjects at the expense of 'creative' and 'practical' ones, is a bit of a personal bugbear as a learner, parent and educator. If we started from what people want to learn about - and what some educational institutions and business leaders argue people need to learn about - the school curriculum would look quite different and, arguably, be more inclusive.
Fortunately for us, people attending an Arienas Collective workshop do so because they want to learn more about what that workshop offers. Interestingly when we ask people what inspired them to book, talk often focuses around rekindling a love of art from school days, or re-learning a long-lost skill or craft such as printing, sewing or jewellery making. Their past interest in a creative activity has brought them back to learn more.
It was a love of all things creative that inspired me to set up a business offering our home as a space where artists and makers could run workshops. I didn’t know whether the ‘at home’ workshop concept would work or not, but the marketeer in me believed there was a growing group of people looking to invest their hard-earned money - and increasingly valuable spare time - in new experiences rather than shopping for more ‘stuff’. And I saw a place for creative experiences within that (and an opportunity to bring more creativity back into my own life!).
[Image credit: A notebook I created on the letterpress workshop run by artist Lou Davis]
In terms of the future, as I reflect on the biggest business challenges of 2019 I realise they mainly related to health issues (my own and other family members), and on a personal level to not spending enough time getting creative myself. (In common with other creative entrepreneurs, achieving a good work-life balance is an ongoing challenge.)
So, as I consider my vision for 2020, I'm going to get better at practising what I preach by ensuring there's more creative activity in my personal life, and by remaining true to my visual learner instincts. So, I’ll be kickstarting 2020 by booking myself a space on Eugenia Rosa’s ‘Your Life, Your Way’ workshop to create a vision board to guide me into the new decade.
[Image credit: Eugenia Rosa, Your Life, Your Way/The Artist's Way Women's Circle]
A very happy and healthy Hogmanay to you and yours, and here's to a magic 2020!
Your Life, Your Way: an evening of creativity and change led by writer, artist, and Embodied Womanhood Mentor Eugenia Rosa is on 24 January 2010 from 6-9pm. You can find out more more here.
Eugenia is also leading The Artist's Way Women's Circle which begins on 28 January 2020. Find out more here.
If you'd like to learn how to create your own notebooks, Lou's next letterpress workshop is on 26 February 2020 and you can find out more here.