Learning for learning's sake

October 05, 2006, volume 37, no. 3
By Diane Luckow

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Learning for the joy of it is one distinguishing feature of students who pursue a master of arts in graduate liberal studies. The four-year, part-time program, designed for working adults, examines many of the worlds' great works of intellectual and artistic heritage and explores contemporary perspectives on traditional ideas.

"It's a fantastic program," says Andreas Abele, who receives his MA in liberal studies Oct. 5. "It's one of the few programs that really focus on learning for the sake of learning."

Abele was vice-president of Langley-based Disc Go Technologies, which supplies repair products for cds and dvds. But he still found time to complete the program despite a young family and a big project—a book he was writing about how to initiate life changes.

Abele came to SFU as an international student from Germany in 1991, earning a bachelor of arts degree. He remained in Canada, pursuing a career path in human resources that eventually led to teaching and preaching change management at seminars around the world.

He was in the midst of writing the book when he entered the graduate liberal studies program. His participation in the course, he says, had a profound affect on how he finally structured his book's message. "The more we studied, the more we found questions, not answers," he notes. "So the book revolves around people asking questions and working together as a team toward finding solutions rather than following a teaching, or receiving information."

Entitled Is This All There Is?, the book was published last November and is now available in bookstores and online at www.amazon.ca.

"I feel inspired by the program," he says. "I have a better way to look at things and I'm interested now to apply that in my work and life."

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