Sunday, May 5, 2013

What does it mean to learn?

Are you a continuous learner? What does it mean to learn?
  • Investing in a new/deeper skill you can immediately apply?
  • Finding a question for which you will have fun searching for an answer (if one exists)?
  • Keeping an open mind?
  • Taking courses?
  • Asking "why"?
  • Asking "how"?
  • Asking "how come"?
Is the desire to learn equivalent to the act of learning?

I'm not sure that folks truly want to learn. Learning, to me, implies open a door to the unknown and being prepared to change things or have them change you as a result. That potential scale of unleashed change can be terrifying - especially if applied every day. Learning implies change. Most folks want to taste /try /explore something new or unknown and then bring it back to the familiar.

Should we want continous learning and change? Status quo is the birthplace of measurement, comfort, process and other words that bring order and stability. Change is innovation, surprises and creativity that mean uncertainty.

I'm all for continuous improvement - that space between status quo and change where things shift but in familiar patterns. I live my personal life in chaos and creativity while my professional work is dedicated to helping folks through change to stability.

I believe our North American educational system is not based on how our brains actually take in information. I'm not sure we really know what we are asking when we reach for "learning"... possibly the place to start is simply having the conversation and asking: What does it mean to you to learn?

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