Wednesday, July 13, 2005

New Ways of Learning in the Workplace

New Ways of Learning in the Workplace. This is a great essay on how action learning and other techniques can be used to teach skills at work. I realize as librarians we usually see students from an educational setting. But what we teach is directly applicable to the work place.

Maybe we can suggest some of these ideas to the bosses we know? And if we are bosses, maybe we can use it to teach library staff?

From the site:

In today's "high performance organizations," workers must be prepared for continuous on-the-job growth and development. Given the increased age, variety of experiences, and diverse lifestyles and cultures of the working population, it is understandable that adult education practices must move beyond the traditional model of teachers as purveyors of knowledge and learners as passive recipients. Methods and techniques that draw upon workers' previous experiences, link concepts and practices, and encourage reflection and the transfer of knowledge from one situation to another are vital to the learning process. This Digest addresses some of the new ways to learn at work, such as action learning, situated learning, and incidental learning.

ACTION LEARNING

Action learning is a systematic process through which individuals learn by doing. It is based on the premise that learning requires action and action requires learning. It engages individuals in just-in-time learning by "providing opportunities for them to develop knowledge and understanding at the appropriate time based on immediate felt needs" (Lewis and Williams 1994, p. 11). Learning itself is the desired outcome of action learning, not problem solving. It is the learning that occurs in the process of finding solutions to problems that constitutes action learning. It is a type of learning that helps individuals respond more effectively to change.

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