TRANSFORMING LEARNING FOR THE CONCEPTUAL AGE
How do we best prepare ourselves, and those we train, mentor and educate, to acquire life-long learning skills for the Conceptual Age? When imagination and creativity are more critical than facts and theories, the rapid evolution of our technical and conceptual environment demands that we rethink how, when and where we are to best acquire competencies that will sustain us in the coming years.
Before delving into specifics programs, curricula, institutions and methods, it’s important to review the breadth of the issues we face. Every progressive, generative and future-focused learning framework (whether personal, corporate or institutional) MUST be designed, build and assessed as an interdependent system of connections among people, the environment and the process of acquiring skills and knowledge.
Successful learning environments only exist where careful attention is paid to each of these core areas and where there is a dynamic, collaborative and creative evolution of best practices in selecting the best people, the right processes and designing positive physical and psychological spaces. There isn’t a single solution that fits all schools and corporate training or that is ideal for the independent learner, but there are key best practices that should be considered by every learner and every facilitator.
So the following are issues that will form the core of future posts, interwoven with reviews, experiences and examples of institutions and people who exemplify best and sometimes worst practices. I’ll compare traditional and emerging schools, on-line learning, corporate training, resources such as conferences and seminars, as well as my observations over the years from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Added to this will be suggestions and techniques for improved design and continuous improvement.
THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
How do we construct physical workspaces that support and optimize creative productivity?
Why do some institutions fail to see how critical the creative workspace is for learning and mastery?
How do we design and optimize spaces that maximize the balance among personal production and teamwork?
How to we deal with ergonomics, perception and technical issues (e.g. color control)?
What technical infrastructure supports, enables or interferes with learning?
How do we deal with both human and digital distractions?
What physical arrangements and spaces promote collaboration?
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT
How does the psychological environment promote or detract from the learning process?
How do cultural and social experiences, traditions, conventions and pressures influence the way we are taught and the way we learn?
How do we balance competition with cooperation?
Why extrinsic motivation no longer works.
How can instructors and mentors use positive techniques to motivate the learner?
The importance of customized instruction.
How do we develop learning skills, intrinsic motivation, curiosity, perception, breadth, passion, craft, professionalism, critical analysis, problem solving, creativity, intuition and the concept of flow?
How do we grow and evolve through learning and mastery?
How do we cope with stress and constant demands for quality under pressure?
What range of learning and training concepts and practices are available?
For example: reflective practice, motivational design, instructional design, program and curriculum design, techniques of engagement, core competencies, assessment and critique, project-based learning, iterative practice, analytical and creative practices, rote learning, skill and craft, ubiquitous learning, on-line services, as well as learning tools, techniques and strategies.
I may have left out some concepts but the above is a rough guide to the territories I’ll visit on this transformational quest.
Next post: The Journey Starts with Motivation.