Your Midlife Pitstop.

August 11, 2020

Your Midlife Pitstop.

May 29, 2023

Early in April, I wrote a post on what the world would be like if we all retired at the same time. Of course, that ain’t gonna happen, but an increasing number of my peers tell me they’re ready for their pitstop or gap year.

They fueled up for their educational and vocational life thirty or forty years ago and are now running on fumes. Your mileage may vary, but we know there’s a societal need here based upon how many individuals have been seeking out MEA, our midlife wisdom school.

I’m putting the final touches on a white paper (with Canadian academic and MEA alum Ingo Rauth) called “The Emergence of Long Life Learning.” We read over one hundred academic papers to help polish the diamond of this important subject. Steven Schapiro from Fielding Graduate University wrote one of my favorite papers called, “A Crucible for Transformation: The Alchemy of Student-Centered Education for Adults at Midlife.” Of course, we didn’t read this paper before starting MEA and coming to realize that “wisdom isn’t taught, it’s shared” (thanks, Jeff Hamaoui), but it’s been encouraging how this paper articulates our experience.

Here are two extended pieces from the paper that a few of you fellow geeks or MEA alums might appreciate about midlife learning:

“The learning experience is not just a transaction between faculty and student but a more circular transaction among a group, in which everyone is learning from and with everyone else. Critical reflection on ourselves and the contexts in which we are embedded can be deepened and facilitated by taking time away from our regular lives. This sort of distance from our day to day responsibilities and relationships is one of the functions provided by residential retreats as part of the adult learning experience. If we do not provide such opportunities, then adult learners immersed in busy work and family lives, treat their adult learning experiences as another consumer event where they are shopping and getting something and not engaging with their full selves and do not detach enough from their regular life settings in order to get more perspective on them. To immerse ourselves instead in a new community of support provides an opportunity for distance, reflection and growth... Through such dialogue, learners can also engage in what Belenky and Stanton have described as the ‘connected knowing’ through which learners can transform by trying to empathize with and understand the views of others...And if the learning community includes people of diverse racial, ethnic or other identities of difference, other opportunities for contradiction and potential transformation arise in what Daloz calls the ‘constructive engagement with otherness’.”

“This crucible serves as a container that holds learners in a safe space and provides a boundary for their learning experience; that turns up the heat and the fire, providing various forms of contradiction and disorientation that ‘unfreezes’ people and melts their rigid frames of reference and ways of knowing, opening them to the possibility of change; adds new ingredients to the mix in the form of new paradigms, perspectives and ways of learning; and provides continuing support as learners ‘cool down’ to solidify a new sense of self as scholar practitioners, re-integrate themselves into their work, community, and family contexts.”

For those of you interested in creating a midlife wisdom school, I heartily recommend reading Schapiro’s paper. We’ll unleash our “The Emergence of Long Life Learning” paper on you sometime in the next few months.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

No items found.

A Mastery Week with the World’s Leading Evolutionary Astrologer, Steven Forrest

May 20, 2024
 to 
May 25, 2024
Santa Fe, USA

Learn to Love Your Inner Critic with IFS and Dick Schwartz

May 27, 2024
 to 
June 1, 2024
Santa Fe, USA

Cultivating Purpose with Jeff Hamaoui

May 27, 2024
 to 
Jun 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico
May 27, 2024
 to 
Jun 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Cultivating Purpose with Jeff Hamaoui

May 27, 2024
 to 
June 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico
May 27, 2024
 to 
Jun 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico