1.3 THE LEARNING CONTINUUM
LEARNING: A LEARNABLE LIFE SKILL
Learning is inevitable and an unavoidable constant in every aspect of our everyday lives. It is a conscious activity throughout our schooldays, in formal education and in training but it also lives in our subconscious, in our thinking and in our reflection, and even in our imagination. Learning is innate. It is responsive to the dynamics of our personal circumstances and to our immediate environment.
So, why do we need to ‘learn to learn’ and why should it become an integral part of the curriculum, whether in formal education or in staff development in an informed workplace? In short, because an understanding of how we learn and how our Learning Power dictates the habits and behaviors we exhibit when coping with the challenges of change, is fundamental to the quality of our contribution to life at work and at home, and to the well-being of society as a whole.
The accelerating pace of change across every aspect of society makes it necessary for all of us to hone our ‘learning’ skills, to constantly acquire new knowledge and develop and adopt new ways of working. In this climate of perpetual change, how we learn has an abiding influence as we grow older. Employers, therefore, have a critical responsibility to use their organizational frameworks to equip their staff for the demands that rapidly changing labor and commercial markets will throw at them. It is in every employer’s interests to ensure that staff:
- have skills in ‘learning how to learn’;
- accept learning as a continuous process which will extend throughout life;
- recognize that learning takes place in a wide variety of different situations and contexts;
- see their organizational employer as managed to encourage and reward learning.