18 pages 36 minutes read

Matthew L. Sanders

Becoming a Learner: Realizing the Opportunity of Education

Nonfiction | Essay / Speech | Adult | Published in 2012

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Index of Terms


The focus and title of the essay is becoming a learner, and therefore, the differentiation between what a student is and what a learner is stands out as the primary theme. The author makes a strict distinction between the two and defines a learner as someone who is proactive in the pursuit of knowledge and education. The author provides a table that outlines the characteristics of a student and a learner in bullet-point fashion. A learner “seeks out opportunities, learns for understanding, is internally motivated, seeks challenging situations, sees learning as an opportunity, and learns to learn.”


A student is the antithesis to a learner. The author defines a student in the essay as someone who approaches education passively. A student “waits to be directed, learns for the test, is externally motivated, avoids challenging situations, sees learning as an obligation, and learns to do.” Essentially, the student is the person to whom the essay is addressed, as the author argues that the true nature of college is to teach individuals how to think, and thus, a learner is at an advantage.