There are three different types of learning: learning to be, learning to do, and learning to know.
Learning to be focuses on helping someone understand who they are and who they want to be. This type of learning answers such questions as: “What do I love doing?” “What is my dream?” “What gives me energy?” “What are my unique strengths?” and even “What is my role in a group?” Reflection is necessary. Online social networking (such as Facebook) has exploded in part because it partially meets this need. Learning to be is the most individualistic of the three different types of learning.
Learning to do, in contrast, focuses on developing skills that can be applied, such as in the productive world. Learning to do almost always involves significant practice. Learning to do topics include such abstract skills as leadership, innovation, stewardship, and project management on one end, and more literal skills, such as how to build, grow, use, or fix things, on the other.
Learning to know focuses on knowledge that can be captured in books and lectures. This includes timelines and dates, definitions and facts. Google and Wikipedia are the ultimate learning to know tools. Most schools are very busy at developing this type of learning.
Any curriculum that focuses solely on one of these types of learning is missing most of the opportunities for complete learning. Further, there is a logical order to presenting the three different types. Traditional schools’ forte, learning to know, can come only after learning to be and learning to do have successfully begun.
It is the role of childhood to build these three types of learning into every individual. Society pays a steep price when people are not developed in all areas.