Thursday, February 01, 2007

How Do You Like to Learn?

Yesterday afternoon we had a workshop on a new leadership initiative within our organization in order to bring renewed energy to the idea and generate some useful information which could be used for the next stage of programme design. In the opening activity we each interviewed a partner about how they like to learn, and then the partners introduced each other to the group. The responses were incredibly diverse!

We share so many similarities (all committed to our organization, working people, interested in sustainability issues) and yet we had a vast range of preferred learning styles - from more formal settings in classrooms and workshops, and hearing from experts; to completely non-formal, learning by doing, learning from examples, and learning from other people's and our own experiences. One person even felt they learned better on a full stomach!

This was very useful information for the future designers of this leadership programme - it must feature many different methods for learning, and a variety of ways for people to personalise their learning process, so that it works effectively for everyone in the programme.

This is also useful insight for all of our colleagues generally. We work for a knowledge organization that aims to support people moving from knowledge to action within the conservation and sustainability field. If we learn in many different ways, then our partners and constituencies certainly do too. How can we vary the way we share our knowledge so that people can learn most effectively? And shouldn't we ask our counterparts how they like to learn, so we can produce our knowledge in formats, and embed them in learning processes, that are most useful to them?