The approach for unlearning, learning, and relearning is valid for organisations and their people alike. Learning offers a mutually-beneficial synergy for both camps and an opportunity for growth that benefits each stakeholder involved.
Not very well at all. Our learning journey starts with us – the learner – as a child and, in much of today’s business environment, continues from that starting point.
Here’s what I mean. Mostly, there are two methodologies for teaching: Pedagogy (Greek for child-leading) and Andragogy (Greek for adult-leading).
The first, Pedagogy, is a teacher-centered method of instruction. Its approach is to teach the child’s mind as a blank slate, guided by what the teacher deems fit and viewing motivation through the lens of the carrot-and-the-stick – or prizes and punishment. Its top-down approach discourages self-directed learning and encourages the “record and regurgitate” method of learning.
Unfortunately, the effects of this teaching and learning style have bled into today’s business environment. Typically, corporate training methods still follow traditional formats like the traditional classroom set-up. The result? Attendees view learning as uninteresting and formal, limiting its effectiveness.
Admittedly, it’s time for a new approach? Andragogy, or adult learning, is not new – it’s been around since learning itself. But, its modern-day understanding was defined by Malcolm Knowles in the 1960s.
- The learner’s self-concept: that adult learners are self-directed, autonomous, and independent.
- The role of experiences: that adults tend to learn by drawing from their previous experiences.
- Readiness to learn: that adults tend to be ready to learn what they believe they need to know.
- Need to know: that adults need to see the value of learning and why they need to learn.
- Internal motivation: that adults find internal motivation far more rewarding than external forces.
- Orientation to learning: that adults learn from immediate applications, rather than for future uses.