Socrates As A LifeLong Learner In A Digital Age
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If Socrates Was A LifeLong Learner In A Digital Age

“The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know.” Socrates

The intellectual roots of the critical thinking needed to be a successful lifelong learner can be traced back 2,500 years ago to the quotes, the teachings and the vision of Socrates of ancient Greece. When Socrates said the “unexamined life is not worth living”, he was creating what has come to be famously known as the Socratic principle of questioning (National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 2019). Socratic questioning is a mode of questioning that deeply examines the strength of a definition, justification or logic of a claim, theory, line of reasoning or stance. Lifelong learners seek to examine the claims and theories within their disciplines’ body of knowledge before accepting them as worthy of belief.

Whilst a Harvard University Extension School and an Arizona State University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute lifelong eLearner and eProfessor, I embody the Socratic principle of the unexamined life is not worth living, because I realize that a multitude of unexamined lives can add up to an unjust and an extremely dangerous world. This type of critical thinking, dialogical instruction, and advancement of knowledge is integral to all levels of education. Socrates determined that while learning new information, we are challenging our current understanding. He discovered that by applying this method of probing questioning to theories of people in power, they could not rationally justify their claim to knowledge just because they held positions of authority. By questioning and examining life, Socrates established that persons could hold high position yet still be deeply confused, have self-contradictory beliefs and inadequate evidence to their rhetoric (National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 2019). I view this philosophy as the beginning of empirical research.

New research and new information should not only inform our experiences but challenge our accepted frameworks for understanding, interpreting, translating and analyzing to form our own knowledge. Application of knowledge for the examined life is of utmost importance in the learning and teaching journey. As lifelong learner practitioners and scholars, it is our profound duty to apply this philosophy and probing questioning within the classrooms we study and within the classrooms where we teach.

My research interests in the classrooms I study and classrooms I teach include continued research in Behavioral Health, Kinesiology, Athletics, Gerontology, Metaphysics, Biomimicry, Criminology, as well as Education and the analysis of Higher Education administered via the internet. One specific area in need of exploration is online graduate education and the multidimensional analysis of benchmarks for student success. I plan to complete a systematic review and analysis of research covering postsecondary graduate level education administered across the worldwide web and the correlation to student achievement. This information is of import in understanding the complex task of internet-based distance education. I recognize the magnitude of the responsibility inherent in the online education process. As an online educator and practitioner-scholar, I strive to help each student realize his or her potential as a worthy, effective, and positive member of society. While I am teaching, I am also working to stimulate the spirit of inquiry, the acquisition of knowledge and skill, and the thoughtful formulation of worthy goals. I exert every effort in this process in order to provide an online classroom climate with the freedom to learn, high yet attainable standards, and the guarantee of the opportunity for equal education for all.

Further, as a former collegiate athlete, another area of research that piques my interest involves the landscape of online classes for college and university athletes. Some questions to examine include how the classes are regulated, the prevalence of reliance on online education for illegibility and the advantages of athletes receiving their education facilitated on the internet versus residency and/or the hybrid format. As an online post-doctoral learner, I understand the foundations of scholarly ethical research, and I will use it to contribute to my disciplines of study, my professional life and the global education community. Through this area of eLearning research, I will stay committed to enhancing performance in my professional role to contribute locally and globally by producing academically honest and ethical scholarly research.

References:

The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking. (2019). A Brief History of the Idea of Critical Thinking. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org

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