How to Master It


Dear Friends of WCIU,

In my last post I outlined four words: Master of Arts in International Development.

Let me come back to "master".

When I was living in Asia and learning language I aimed to "master it". And with a lot of work, and practice, and experience I gained increasing ease and comfort in more and more speaking and hearing and discussion situations. I am not sure I would say I ever "mastered" the language, as every language is a deep ocean!

In our WCIU context we are referring to mastering something we call "international development", which means I think, becoming so fully knowledgeable and experienced and familiar, that we are at ease with a subject matter. 

Of course, it doesn't mean that we know everything, there is always more to know!

But notice, mastering something is not just gaining knowledge or information. It includes experience and familiarity. The aim is fluency, perhaps, if I got back to the language image.

Now, since in reality we never finish learning, we never actually become "masters", not fully. 

I once heard a man say that an expert is someone who has made one more mistake than YOU have!

So, I prefer to say that a "master" is simply someone who has figured out how to keep learning, and in fact, has learned how to learn, within a particular field.

At WCIU, one of our main aims is not to help our students learn! It is to help our students and faculty (and President) learn how to learn, and then keep doing it!

Your fellow learner...

Kevin Higgins