TeachSurfing

The Real Power of Knowledge Sharing: How Education Becomes the Most Powerful Weapon to Change the World

2024-01-24

Written by Manuel Dolderer

Knowledge sharing seems like a straightforward thing to do, right? You know something and you decide to teach it to others so they know it as well.

What we do not consider most of the time when we think about teaching is that every learning experience we create shapes the self image, the mindset of the learner.

Every time we experience ourself as a quick learner, or as someone who struggles with certain lessons, every time we get positive or negative feedback in a learning environment, every time we solve a problem successfully or fail miserably with a challenge, our self image changes ever so slightly.

Repeating a specific learning experience over and over again can have a dramatic impact on the way we see ourselves. That’s why from an early age most students start developing certain beliefs about themselves: I am not good with numbers, I have a talent for languages, I am a good student, I am just not very bright.

And even more dramatically, these beliefs become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Learning research shows that our self image, our mindset significantly influences future academic success. The more we believe in our ability to learn or accomplish something, the more likely we are to succeed – and vice versa.

The theory of self-efficacy and the importance of a person’s belief in their own self-efficacy was established by Albert Bandura more than 40 years ago:

“Among the mechanisms of human agency, none is more central or pervasive than people's beliefs in their efficacy to influence events that affect their lives. This core belief is the foundation of human inspiration, motivation, performance accomplishments, and emotional well-being. Unless people believe they can produce desired effects by their actions, they have little incentive to undertake activities or to persevere in the face of difficulties. Whatever other factors serve as guides and motivators, they are rooted in the core belief that one has the power to affect changes by one's actions. This core belief operates through its impact on cognitive, motivational, affective, and decisional processes.”

There are numerous studies showing that a student’s belief in their academic self-efficacy significantly influences the actual outcome regardless of their intelligence or level of preparation. And as Bandura states clearly, this is not only true for academic contexts but for every aspect of life.

I guess you're all familiar with the famous quote by Nelson Mandela:

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

I am absolutely convinced that this is true. Not because of the knowledge alone that students acquire but because of the way a well-designed learning experience can help students develop a powerful mindset full of confidence in one’s own abilities to make difference and change your own life – and the world – for the better. 

This conviction is the reason why our unique learning concept at CODE University of Applied Sciences is designed around self-directed project-based learning because it enables our students to experience self-determination and self-efficacy and to develop a powerful mindset – a pioneer’s mindset.

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