To Learn is to question, inquire, adapt, and evaluate. To become an expert at something is to train and develop a set of skills that make one’s interaction with that environment seamless. To be traditional is to be conservative. If you are to take a look at the trend in American education over the course of 100 years, very little has changed. It is still “chalk and talk.” We talk the talk of Differentiated Instruction and Universal Design of Learning; however, coast to coast we are not doing so. We as educators are creating Traditional Students. These students are mindless cogs in a machine that have little or no academic self-awareness so that they are better able to apply themselves to an ever changing environment. There education for over 12 years was rigid; therefore, they are rigid. They do not question, inquire or adapt.
An Expert Learner is the complete opposite. Trained in academic self-awareness, he or she is able to analyze an objective and reach a conclusion based upon an educated set of responses. These are not just facts. These are answered questions that beget other questions. Since it is impossible to know everything, the Expert learner understands this and does not view education as having a end in sight; rather, a life long process to find answers to questions that drive their environment.