I’ll be looking at both formal and informal learning, emphasising that it should be fun if true, deep, learning is to take place, rather than the more frequent shallow learning.
- How do we learn?
- What is a good approach to learning for workers who undertake most of their work outdoors?
- Can learning be made more fun, yet at the same time ensure genuine learning takes place?
I believe that considered reflection of what has been undertaken or observed is a really important part of the learning process. What I mean by ‘considered reflection’ is that time (it doesn’t have to be a long period of time) is put aside, or taken out of a normal schedule, to reflect in a thoughtful way on what was learnt from an activity or observation; What was the key aspect of the learning? Have any areas for improvement been identified? What might be considered the next step in the learning process?
This leads onto life-long learning. Life, society and technology change at a seemingly ever increasing pace. Technology is impacting on the way we live and work – artificial intelligence and robots are the current trends and we all need to be aware of how these trends might impact on our home and work life.
Engaging with the process of life-long learning is one way staying up to date and not feeling left behind. I don’t think this should be forced on anyone but should be seen as a process which is enjoyable and is seen as a ‘I want to keep learning’. Additional benefits of keeping an active mind, I am sure, contribute to improving ones health and well-being. Part of the problem of engaging people into a process of life-long learning is the challenge of making sure the learning activity is actually engaging enough to keep peoples attention span and to enthuse them into wanting to find out more.
With the pervasiveness of social media the ability to encourage collaboration in learning should not appear to be an unrealistic expectation for workers in the outdoor industries. With there being so much knowledge ‘out there’, having the ability to tap into it and focus it to support learning activities should certainly be one of the aims of collaborative learning. No one person can really ‘know it all’, even though a few people might think otherwise.
Collaborative learning can be used as a way to create an active ‘web of learning’ or a ‘community of learning’. This would be a really positive approach and contribution to making everyone who is interested feel part of a dynamic ‘movement’ (I don’t want this to be confused with a political or social action movement)
The final part of learning that I want to explore is that of self-determined learning, called heutagogy. This essentially puts the learner in charge of their learning; they are the owner and driver for their learning. I believe this approach could be one which can be used to better engage learners within the grounds care industry.
Heutagogy looks at developing capability, which is the next step on from competence. Competence forms the cornerstone of vocational training yet is often seen as the ‘end point’, when what needs to happen is for learners to use this as a staging post for developing their knowledge and skills that much further – developing their capabilities to respond to the many different situations which can arise from an outdoor occupation.
So, here again we have an interconnection of technology, groundsmanship and learning.