“You stop learning, you start dying,” insists Ruben Puentes, Professor and Director of Partnerships at Future Generations Graduate School. His career reflects his desire to expand – as a soil scientist for a government agency, a teacher for a U.S. university, the leader of a network of researchers in transnational migration, Associate Vice President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and a part-time potato grower on his farm in Uruguay. For Puentes, life is always a classroom.
|Puentes (center) listening to a discussion between a farmer and a local expert in Manaus, Brazil.|
Puentes’ task at the Graduate School is to strengthen the Master’s Degree in Applied Community Change curriculum along with student teaching and advising. “This is a unique opportunity to continue learning, not only from faculty colleagues but from students themselves.”
Puentes’ students appreciate his global experience that links community development, natural resources management, and agriculture. Most are practitioners themselves with diverse experiences, and their questions force Puentes to continue learning.
“Education is in the learning, not the teaching,” Puentes says. “Future Generations Graduate School is the place to be for those with a passion for learning; it is difficult to find a better place either to start or continue a lifelong learning journey.”
At Future Generations, we often flip the role of teacher and student. Everyone has something they can teach someone else and everyone has something they can learn from someone else. This is the inherent truth in learning communities.
This week’s episode of Voices embodies just that. A father attempts to teach his daughter a lesson and ends up learning one instead.