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Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? (T.S. Eliot)

Thousands of Londoners seek to navigate our complex world by coming together at City Lit

Be honest, how often do you dual-screen – that is watch TV, but then reach for your phone or tablet because you want to look up something you’ve just seen? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. If there’s one thing the internet has enabled, it’s the ability to instantly settle our curiosity.

This year society will officially enter the zettabyte era, where global internet traffic surpasses one zettabyte – or one-sextillion bytes for the very first time. But while the internet undoubtedly has the power to introduce the world to our pockets, it also reveals a world that is still a very large and increasingly complicated place. And so, a new problem emerges. When there’s so much to learn, where do we even begin to start? Sometimes, too much choice for information really can be overwhelming.

We’re seeing more and more people want a more targeted way of understanding the complex world they live in – whether it’s understanding the Syrian refugee crisis, the history of world migration, or the global political implications of the upcoming US Election. At a time where information is omnipresent, but also unsubstantiated, and copied and pasted rather than studied and considered, these people want to pull back and experience proper – some might say ‘traditional’ – curated learning that gives them a suitable framework and context.

Reading facts from the privacy of our homes is one thing, but what we and our students increasingly realise, is that true ‘learning’ is more than this. Learning is a social event – when interpretations of the same material are debated and discussed.

There’s no exams to worry about, no pressure to succeed; just the collective understanding that everyone there has given up time in their week to extend their knowledge in a friendly and supportive way

It’s no surprise to us that learning hasn’t really changed for hundreds of years, and it’s a joy to see that so many other people are realising this too. When our classes come together, they are alive – our adult learners bring different insights and experiences, but they’re always led and nurtured by professional tutors and experts in their field, so that everyone gets the most from their shared experiences.

Whereas school is simply a process to get people through a curriculum, our learning is dictated by the needs of the group. There’s no exams to worry about, no pressure to succeed; just the collective understanding that everyone there has given up time in their week to extend their knowledge in a friendly and supportive way.

In many ways, our style of learning is really how school should have been. For many, what we facilitate is an experience their schools might never have given them, because at the time they didn’t enjoy learning, or may have been insecure, lacking the social skills and confidence they needed to flourish. Here our students can be themselves. As a result, we find many people can discover a level of creativity and confidence from within themselves that they never knew they had.

Above all we help support critical thinking – that people shouldn’t always accept the status quo. Our courses – ranging from politics, to history, to ancient civilisations, to modern cultural and philosophical thinking – provide a new way to interpret our confusing and increasingly more complex world.

If you want to learn something new, because you want to better your career, have rediscovered a passion for a subject, or simply because you want to be more knowledgeable about the world you live in and how things have come to be the way they are, then come and visit us.

Join us and you don’t just join a teaching group, but a community of other like-minded people who you’ll form friendships with for life. Join City Lit and you’ll be amazed what you come away with.

10% off when you book one of our courses. Enter offer code RAC10CL when booking online at www.citylit.ac.uk or call us on 020 7831 7831 - Terms and conditions apply.

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