Transitions as Changing Choices

Transitions as Changing Choices

A Learners’ View (ALV) Is Of Choices On The Shortest And Fastest Path To Learning, The Oxygen Of Social Life.

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From a learners’ view (ALV), the word transition, a noun, refers to the process or period during which a change in patterns of choices by people occurs. Transitions occur continually, routinely and in increments in daily life. Educators refer to transitions as learning. That is, people change what we do as individuals, as families, and as aggregates. We choose to adapt to what we see, hear, and in other ways sense in order to live (survive) in ways we choose to benefit in each situation.

People also use the word transition as a euphemism to indicate large scale transitions that affect most people, such as the change from the industrial era to the information era. In this sense, transitions refer to the illusion of changes in choices without necessarily describing the processes people use while changing from one status to another.

For example, my father and uncounted millions of others lived through a previous transition from an agricultural era to the industrial era and into the information era. He was born and raised in a time and way on a farm that preceded by two grand transitions the beginning of our unnamed emerging era. Earlier, Dad’s grandfather saw the closing of the ‘Western Frontier’ as he moved his family from Indiana to Nebraska. My mother’s father saw the close of the Civil War (The War between the States) in southern Illinois and lived into the age of commercial flight after World War II.

As a seven year old Nebraska farm boy in 1913, Dad rode alone on a disk and a plow behind a team of horses from sun up to sun down until those tasks were done. The field was a half mile long from the farthest end to the house and barn. He told the team of horses with words and reins what to do next to complete their tasks. Grandpa’s first tractor allowed Dad and Grandpa to take turns doing the same work in a fraction of the time they had done on foot and with horses. In between plowing and disking, Dad learned to maintain Grandpa’s first car in addition to the tractor. Those skills made him eligible later to become the first graduate in 1927 of the then new Boeing School of Aeronautics and the first graduate to be hired. That hiring made him employee number 42 of United Airlines. To maintain that position for over 40 years, he learned how to use principles of science and technology unknown on the family farm to figure out ways to make air travel safer and more efficient.

As Dad explained when asked, “Problems or obstacles, if you prefer, in life open new options for us all. Some people avoid them. I like to solve them.” He said, as did his brothers and sisters, that if someone else can do something, so could each of them, and they did to be among the first in their settings to adapt and create ways for others to use in each era in which they lived. So do their descendants. Their skills, even from their schooling, were grounded, literally, in the soil.

Last Edited: July 2, 2015