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CEA MOJO in Prague on What is Active Learning?

Formal education is a significantly important part of our society. The structure that our modern schools and universities provide aid in the development of intelligent individuals that without a doubt will become progressive additions to our society.

Considering I have a mother and sister that are both teachers, I will never knock our nation’s education system. Teachers are gifted individuals and I am thankful for the ones that have made a positive impact on my life. However, there are some things in life that a teacher cannot teach you; that a school cannot hand to you. There are some things that you need to do on your own to truly become the well-rounded person that you were always meant to be. Each and every person has the potential for an unlimited capacity of knowledge and experiences. The problem is: too many of us miss our opportunities to grow because we are too busy viewing our lives through a narrow keyhole. 

Studying abroad has given me the opportunity to learn not only more about the world, but also more about myself. Every day of my experience I am actively learning and growing within myself. While I am continuing to learn new things in my foreign formal education, I have found that I have learned more by taking action. Touring an art museum. Taking a different route to class every day. Talking with a local in the grocery store. Going for a hike. Planning a spontaneous day trip to a neighboring city. Listening to music in another language. Traveling to new places every single chance I can. 

I have changed so much since the first day I arrived in Prague. I have changed for the better. My perspective on life has widened. I have a new-found respect and gratitude for the beauties of this world. I am more compassionate and understanding to people who are “different” from me. I have found a deeper purpose and meaning to this world and to this life. I have grown. I have learned. They were not things that I could ever learn in a classroom. They were things I had to actively do.  By choosing to take action, I was indirectly choosing to live a more fulfilling life. Prior to studying abroad, I was living “through the keyhole.” Currently, I am living life through an open door, an open world.   

If you think you are wasting precious days looking through that tiny keyhole, then grab your next opportunity to take an action. Do something different. Go somewhere new.  Travel the world. A positive action is the key to the keyhole that is ready to be unlocked, and ready to be opened into an entire view of the world that has just been waiting for you to discover it. Take action. Allow your potential to overflow with new experiences and memories that will form you into the person that you never realized you could be.

Jenna Kerr is the Spring 2013 CEA MOJO in Prague, Czech Republic

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