The desire to discover; the lure of the unknown; the possibility to encounter beauty and wholeness; the conviction that, for any individual, it is possible to change the world - these are some of the things that motivate what I do. They have led me to work as a scientist, to write, to be a filmmaker, to teach, to be alone with myself and with nature, to construct things, such as musical instruments, that enhance my and other people's existence, and to think about - and help create - better ways for people to work and live and grow together. In the process of doing so I have discovered the joy of walking and the love of learning. Thus, learning to walk and walking to learn have become important dimensions of who I am.
My resume gives an idea of the things I have done and the degree of accomplishment (or lack thereof) they entail. It also includes references to many of my publications and papers presented at conferences. A set of autobiographical notes may help understand the apparent complexity of my particular walk through life and what motivated me to branch off in so many - some people may think too many - directions.
My current work is geared towards getting a better, and particularly more complete, understanding of human learning. My interest in gaining such insight is motivated by my belief that understanding learning better will help to more effectively create the conditions that nurture the learning society. The latter interest, in turn, has to do with my view that a society in which learning is pervasive, is key to making a better world. Obviously, when I speak about learning, I do not just refer to the things we do in school. Learning is a very rich and elaborate concept. Much of our learning requires conditions for which the school is not a propitious environment.
Find out more concerning my ideas on learning, as well as about my specific research interests, by going to my learning page.
Learning is a disposition to engage in continuous dialogue - with ourselves and with our environment.
- "Just talking" (Ceramic, 1998) by Ruth Bloch
- My brief bio mentions, among other things, that I am an avid walker. On August 7, 2000, I completed, in exactly seven years, a cumulative total of 40,000 km on foot, i.e. the equivalent of the earth's perimeter at the equator. In the picture to the right you see me taking the last step of this 40,000 km odyssey. I have since continued walking and passed the 50,000 km mark on April 27, 2002. On December 14, 2003, I reached a cumulative total of 60,000 km and I passed the 70,000 km milestone on September 11, 2005, at 4:00 in the afternoon. That took slightly more than 12 years. At my pace, you could walk to the moon (385,000 km) in less than a lifetime. On July 7, 2007, at 10:20 p.m., I completed the equivalent of my second tour around the earth as I reached the 80,000 km mark. That event took place in Lienden, The Netherlands (see the picture to the left, taken at night, like the previous one, which was taken in Hollywood, Florida). And the journey continued, passing the 100,000 km mark on October 7, 2012, to complete my third vitual circumambulation of the earth less than three years later on October 2, 2015.
- If you are interested in how I do it and what it means to me, or if you are interested in emulating the experience, go to my walking page.
Science and music are two of my other passionate interests. My science page and my music page explain why. The inscription on the adjacent harpsichord - Sine Scientia Ars Nihil Est - expresses my view that art and science are one.
I can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected].
My Meaning of Learning blog can be found at http://jvisser-ldi.blogspot.com/.