Homework is defined as schoolwork a pupil is required to carry out at home. In my mind homework is synonymous with the theme tune to Glenroe and calls up memories of procrastination and general dragging of feet.
After all, who in their right mind actually volunteers to do homework?
For Community Leadership I find that my class room is my home and that is where all the work happens. However in the comfort of my own home I am beginning to feel uncomfortable.
Because I am being challenged to explore personal and societal definitions of self, of leadership, of structure.
When things get a bit difficult it is good to know that though I am alone, I am not, though I am an at home learner, my colleagues are all there are the touch of a button. There are participants from Men’s Shed initiatives, youth programmes, community development groups, drug support services; the list is extensive and the range of skills and interests is immense.
I work remotely for this course. Remoteness is an everyday reality for me because I live on an island, a smaller island than Ireland. I live on Clare Island, in County Mayo, off the West coast, right in the middle of the Atlantic. Access is a constant challenge for islanders, access on and off boats, to and from the mainland, access to services, to the internet, to education, to health. Working and learning in a remote community is the driving force and sticking point, it is the cause and effect; within the challenge there is the answer. The same is true for this course.
Though I am completing this learning at home, and through remote access, and plenty of homework, the beauty of online education is that you are never alone. There is always support, from your fellow students, from the staff and learning professionals.
John Donne had it right when he said:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.