Starting a journey to re-imagine the way we learn

Learning about learning : Part 1

Time and again I have found my work get me back to the space of learning and education. Having worked with start-ups, corporates, institutions as well as developmental organisations, I have explored pretty much everything from toys to systems and research to experiences.

I have been thinking about learning a lot over the past couple of years, and I am super fascinated by the way the word is used today. From conversations about the future of work and its implications on learning to top 10 skills an individual must possess, learning has come in the limelight.

Overall, people are a lot more aware about the need to learn, grow and thoughtfully evolve with the times. And while we haven’t found the best way out there, its reassuring to see people constantly trying to innovate the way people learn.

What I really love about the conversation around learning is that more and more organisations are a part of it. We are in the process of breaking away from this static notion of learning being restricted to just a phase in our lives that ends once we join the workforce. These foundations of nurturing livelong learning will go a long way in pushing the envelop of human development and change.

With technology aiding learning in more ways than one — learning is also become more universal not just in terms of accessibility but also subjectivity, leaving room for individuals to learn in the way most suited for them.

So many questions are in my head around learning — Are we putting our efforts in the right direction? Should learning be standardised, or should it be self directed? How do we ensure quality? What role should technology play? How can teachers add the most value? What is the future of learning? Do the answers for that lie in the past?

Re-imagining the way people learn is a complex problem to solve. It is big and it isn’t going to be easy and there is no one right answer. So I’m starting by going back to the basics in the hope that the past will have some clues for the future.

For now, here is unpacking our learning vocabulary for you -

Process vs outcome
When we talk about learning, are we talking about having learnt something new, or the way we got there? Both are critical, but need to be pursued differently.

What can we learn?
We often assume that learning is only about gathering information and building knowledge-but learning is more multi-dimensional than that.

How do we learn?
Is the goal to invent new ways of learning, or get more people to discover how they learn best? I’m a little biased toward the latter, because the more people focus on their own learning, the more growth we will see 
over time.

Learning and Change
A large part of the conversation around learning influenced is influenced by the idea of change. How is our world changing? What should we be teaching? How do we adapt? They’re clearly interrelated, and yet not the same.


[Note: “Learning about Learning” is a new series exploring different facets of learning to unravel what it could look like in the future.]

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the conversation!