Learning how to learn
Although off to a shockingly late start, I am now very excited about this paper! The notion of learning really thrills me. My passion in life and current field of study is development – the process of raising capacity in populations to take charge of their own social, intellectual, spiritual and economic progress. My current understanding is that this process is driven by the generation and application of knowledge, not solely through the application of material resources which is what many assume. So generally speaking, the greater capacity an individual or group have to engage effectively in a process of learning to generate and apply knowledge, the faster and more effectively they can progress and address the challenges they face. This rings true with Kolb’s (1976:21) experience which leads him to suggest that successful managers are characterized by their ability to learn. For these reasons I am excited to have the opportunity to learn more about learning.
Outside of University I am learning practically about social and economic development through participation in the grass roots establishment of various child and youth moral and intellectual empowerment programs in my neighbourhood. Through involvement in these processes I have been gaining some insights into the notion of learning. I would usually define learning as a process of action, reflection, consultation and study. Thus over the years I have come to appreciate the value of reflection as an essential element of the learning process. I have however had little knowledge of these concepts being actively applied in the context of business, so I’m excited to see it is being valued and considered by some. I think this course has great potential to enrich our lives not only in the context of business but also in many other facets of our lives.
In an attempt to actively reflect on my initial experience this week I think I’ll try apply Daudelin’s (1996:39) reflection model and say that a problem I faced was finding myself falling behind. In analyzing this problem I find that it has arisen as a result of my making an erroneous assumption that this course, like all others I have ever taken, wouldn’t require much attention until week two. In acting on that assumption I now find myself behind on work! To rectify my problem I’ll draw on a common social theory which states that to assume is to make an ass out of me and you. Clearly I shouldn’t have made an assumption about the intensity of this course. Thus moving forward I will be sure to follow the to-do list and be mindful of deadlines ahead of time. And so begins the process of learning in the context of this course!
Kolb, D. A. (1976). Management and the learning process. California Management Review, 8(3), 21--31
Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36—48