Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given… that separates one person from another. ~ Nelson Mandela
All people learn, some people apply similar learning techniques and yet no two individuals learn in exactly the same manner. With this in mind, it is ludicrous to assume that a specific learning methodology and structure can be develop that is suitable for all people… all of the time… and that are efficient, effective and productive for all possible learning opportunities and scenarios. Therefore, should have the freedom to either select, adapt, tweak and/or change our present assimilation and current digestion strategies that are best suited for our natural troubleshooting, learning and problem-solving temperament so that it is most fitting for the context or the circumstances under which we have to learn and master specialist knowledge.
Stemming from the industrial revolution economic era and well research by quite a number of highly qualified psychologists, educationalists and researchers; a learning methodology was developed and implemented for all people and all circumstances. This eventually - sadly - developed into the standardized teaching norm of today and when an individual struggle to achieve success with this “norm for learning”, then the problem and short coming lies with the individual and not the educational, training or teaching system and structure.
The basic elements of most modern day educational and training methodologies can briefly be highlighted as follows….
Although there is some merit to this line of teaching - for one thing, it was successfully used for a number of decades - it is gradually becoming less and less effective, due to a world that is rapidly changing and in which “removed” and “fragmented” academic learning no longer serve the purpose of modern day demands . The what of teaching - for the bigger part - is still valid, but the how of teaching is largely outdated. Learning through experience, trail-and-error and solving “real problems” should be re-instated in the how of teaching and a learning strategy. Thus, a “DO first, then LEARN”-focus, rather than a “LEARN first, then DO”-focus.
At first glance, it may seem that this approach to learning is completely “new”. It isn't! This is the most natural way for people to learn and we are doing it (knowingly and unknowingly) ever since man first arrive on this planet. It is a natural learning strategy for man - do first then learn - and suitable for all people, with some adaptations here and there to fit the context of the situation. Being “jailed” in a square room is “unnatural” and an unhealthy residue from the industrial revolution. The manner in which ALL children learn… to talk, to walk, socialize, …etc. is successful in most cases, except in the presence of serious problems such as - for example - severe brain damage, malfunctioning senses or missing limbs.
When teaching a person to drive… do we fragment the NO…, we expose the person to the “whole, complete, total, holistic” driving experience at once. First in simple less threatening more controllable situations and - as s/he learns from his/her mistakes, gain the necessary experience, competency, confidence and accept responsibility for his/her actions - we gradually expose him/her to more complex, difficult and complicated driving situations and circumstances.and when the different skills are well established, only then we let the individual drive?
I rest my case, people are learning in this manner for centuries, very successfully and is still actively employing in modern day learning strategies. Unfortunately, 90% of the time outside of the present formal educational and teaching system.
Would it be easy to convert the present educational and learning system of “first learn then do” into a “first do, then learn” system? Definitely NOT.
Is this a task of total impossibility? Again, No!
Providing that we consistently place the proper learning emphasis and focus on…
The Cone of Learning illustrate and emphasize the following…
The following talks delivered - at TED - by Sir Ken Robinson, might provide to the reader with an extended learning perspective and contextualize the learning approach followed, encouraged and promoted within the AltanaESP Network of services.
Education that nurtures (rather than creativity and individualism… )
Troubling trends: the increasing , education's rapid dwindling stake in learning and the rising ADHD epidemic…