A few days ago I made a posting in which I shared an animated video of a keynote presentation by John Seely Brown in which he talked about the concept of the entrepreneurial learner…
Today I’m pondering the future of learning from the learner’s perspective. It’s a giant topic. Jane Hart pointed me to JSB’s presentations on becoming an "entrepreneurial learner." This made me question by own learning — I’d blown right past Jane’s blog post and JSB’s views when they surfaced last year. In these days of skim-and-move-on, it’s all too easy to let important things slip by.
I assume we’re moving into a world where each of us shoulders more responsiblity for our own learning. This would be tough enough in an unchanging world. How do I set my learning objectives? How do I collect meaningful feedback? How much reflection is enough? How do I document my learning?
But the world is changing at an accelerating rate. There are new things to understand and to learn every day. Learning becomes inseparable from practice. To make sense of an ever-changing situation, the learner not only acquires knowledge but also creates context, makes new combinations, shares insights with others, tinkers incessantly, and expands the pool of understanding.
Most organizations have left informal learning to chance. Now they’re leaving the very definition of what it takes to be a successful independent learner to chance. This is crazy-making. If we are making people responsible for their own learning, certainly we owe them guidance on how to do it well. Most organizations are effectively telling people, "You’re responsible for your development. Wing it. Good luck."
Oh, and by the way, lots of what you know will be obsolete in five years. The future is unpredictable.
I’m looking into how we can do better.
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