Learning is developmental, progressive and continuous in nature. We make sense of our world by perceiving, assimilating, and accommodating new information, gained from formal education and/or from informal education like reading extra-curricular books, following Medias, surfing the Internet or from a talk with a friend. And at times we may suspect and then reject the information that we encounter, depending on its relevance and our readiness to accept it. With the advent of modern technologies, today, the definition of learning has almost completely changed; the same is true to the definition of the learner, the teacher, the professional and the classroom, where Knowledge is constructed uniquely and individually, in multiple ways, through a variety of authentic tools, resources, experiences and contexts. Social interactions have bombarded formal educational systems and come up with multiple perspectives on learning. Learning has now become social, collaborative, dynamic and autonomous. Regardless of this change, however, there is one thing true that has never changed, that learning is always both active and reflective and will continue to be. Reflection is always part and parcel of learning be it in Academy or in the world of professionalism.
The purpose of Conscious Youth Circle, is to let readers row and ride on boats of realization in the Rivers of Consciousness, while reflecting on the meaning and true purpose of education, technological growth, possibilities and challenges along with Continuing Professional Development needs of our society. As you started reading this article, especially this particular paragraph, you definitely have stopped to contemplate, assimilate and evaluate what you are reading, and most probably questions like “what is this all about ‘Conscious Youth Circle, Rivers of Consciousness’ and “What is reflection in this particular context?” may be flaming in your mind. It is well and good you stopped rowing your boat in pursuit of knowledge evaluation, which means you have started reflecting, but I suggest keep on sailing and accumulate, for you are already in the river of consciousness.
Writing his Principles of Psychology in 1890, William James coined the metaphor Stream of Consciousness, to illustrate “thoughts goes on”. In his famous chapter on "the stream of thought," James firmly stressed that to its possessor, consciousness seems to be always continuous, without breach, crack, or division, never chopped up, into bits. The content of consciousness might be changing continually, but we move smoothly from one thought to another, one percept to another, without interruption or breaks. For James, thought flow like water in the river, hence his introduction of the term "stream/River of consciousness."
In our case we are using this term in a broader sense, in all-inclusive manner, rivers instead of river or streams in place of stream, and this is all to include myriad colors of consciousness from a number of thinkers, better to call them possessors of this continuous consciousness. We are the rivers, our thoughts the waters flowing in harmony for common, but amazingly large number of quality purposes through education, technology and professional development. When I say “we” in this particular context, I mean the scholars, students, continuous learners and professionals from all walks of sectors, boys and girls, mothers and fathers. As rivers we flow into a common site and collectively create Ocean of Prosperity – knowledge, health, wealth and sustainable economy, again through better reflection of the root of everything (education), the third millennium pathway (Technology), and professionalism, where long term educational outcomes are put into action and implementation meeting the timely needs of the society.
By now I hope it is clear that Rivers of Consciousness is an initiative and a kind of inspirational column for reflection and for everyone. Ahead of us is comprehensive and harmonious participation in strengthening the root (education), utilizing and inventing the tools (technology) and unlocking the potential of being professional. No more easy observations, in stillness with hands crossed, standing by the riverbank. Are you filled with a sense of adventure, inspired to explore the rivers? If so make your oars ready or ignite your engine and sail your boat, remembering the mission is reflection. As sailors in the rivers of consciousness, our indispensable tools are stream of words, stream of phrases and paragraphs, stream of articles and ultimately rivers of reflections, all to be spiced and cooked in the big dish, the Ocean of Prosperity.
In this adventure, which is very unique, we explore the consciousness of intellectuals, experience the experiences of talented professionals, get to know researches of scholars, we see thoughts goes on without breaks, cuts and pauses, and if there exists a pause it is only to contemplate, analyze, evaluate, assimilate, and then to reflect. In the way how soon we inspire and motivate the young generation, creating innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs and global thinkers.
Obviously this article is the first of a series, but independent streams of articles from the Rivers of Consciousness, following articles will be on reflection, the beauty and true meaning of education, modern educational theories, opportunities and challenges of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, and of course professionalism and professional development. Above all this column is going to be engaging, participatory and welcomes inspired participants for contribution of suggestions, comments, and articles. Pause. I know you are on your boat, Keep on sailing in the Rivers of Consciousness.