The word to be defined is student.

“The word to be defined is student. The word has two quite different meanings, depending on context. In the college or university context, a student is one who matriculates, pays bills, attends classes, takes tests, and eventually acquires a diploma. The definition is very procedural and institutional. A common thread tying all the various elements together is compliance: the students goes where he/she is supposed to go, does the assigned tasks, and meets the distribution requirements. Call this student one.

The second definition of student is captured in the phrase I am a student of… whatever…: the civil war… the monarch butterfly… the cold war in Eastern Europe from 1945 to 1990. This meaning of student is provocatively different from the first meaning. It connotes learning that is non-institutional, personally meaningful, self-motivated, self-directed, and long term if not indeed lifelong. Call this student two.”

MORE… The Big Pickle, by Bruce Thomas


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