Learning cycles and styles
As far as learning is concerned, there have been many misconceptions for a long time. One of the most harmful ideas can be considered the concept of the mental development coefficient IQ, which argued that there is only one way to be smart. Another harmful idea is the tabula rasa principle, or “clean slate”. With this approach, the student was seen as an empty vessel waiting to be filled with knowledge. Pupils passively wait for the teacher to teach them. It is these two ideas that have poisoned school education around the world and caused a lot of trouble for staff development units in many large organizations. The main problem here is passivity. This habitual order of things is called a “lecture at the blackboard”, where students sit in rows, listen and diligently record what they are told. This is a highly ineffective method of teaching.
In essence, learning is an active activity. One of the first to draw attention to this was David Kolb, who formulated the concept of “learning by doing”, which is now recognized as the basis for successful learning. He argued that learning begins with practical experience. This is followed by reflections that lead to the creation of a new model or theory. This is followed again by a phase of active experimentation and further improvement. Go to the site and find out morehttps://argoprep.com/blog/learning-styles-series-the-interpersonal-learner/
For many people in the business world, it is like a cycle of creating a product with which they are familiar. Swedish training specialist Klas Mellander develops Kolba’s idea and presents the training cycle as follows:
- Motivation: psychological readiness and receptivity;
- Information: facts and data are converted into information;
- Processing: Information is transformed into experience and understanding;
- Conclusions: The moment of “enlightenment”, when experience and understanding are transformed into knowledge;
- Application: knowledge is transformed into skills and approaches;
- Feedback: further reflection and improvement.
The above cycle most accurately describes what is happening in the learning process, although it would be wrong to consider as obligatory moments of enlightenment, when you can rightfully exclaim: “Eureka! It is true that there are times when everything suddenly falls into place, but overall the learning process is more complex.
The Möller model can be really useful in finding the most successful ways to succeed through learning – both for individuals and for organizations. It does so through an awareness of the unspoken and therefore hidden knowledge that has been acquired but which has only limited application if it cannot be shared.
Another approach to the Mellander model is to look at learning as a four-stage process. Let’s take the process of making an omelette as an example:
- Know what: You know what an omelette is, and you’ve tasted this dish before.
- Know how: You read the recipe and tried to make an omelette.
- Know (why): You understand why it’s important not to throw eggshells into the mixture and why the oil shouldn’t be too hot.
- Wondering (why): You wonder why it’s important to have good quality ingredients and how an omelette fits into a balanced diet.
Define your learning style
British psychologists Peter Hani and Alan Mumford have developed a test that is widely used in various organizations. The test mainly focuses on the third of the elements that make up an individual learning style, that is, how incoming information is processed. There are four types of learning styles: actor, observer, pragmatist and theorist.
The definitions of Honey and Mumford are often a handy tool to find out how you prefer to convert the information you receive into action. They do not describe all elements of learning style, but provide a realistic and visual picture of your individual proclivities.
If you are interested in
then without much thought, you roll up your sleeves and get to work. You enjoy the immediacy of the experience and are happy with everything new. You prefer to do first and then to think. You like to be active, and when you face a problem, you immediately throw all your energy into solving it. Perhaps you’re sociable by nature.
to the observers, you don’t usually take part in activities. In meetings, you probably sit in the back rows. Before you make any decision, you like to gather all kinds of information. You prefer to see how things develop first, and only then to give your opinion. You probably have a natural tendency to be careful.
theorists, then tend to build a logical sequence of events to fit a certain model. You like templates, systems and rules. You love to be independent and analytical. You can be useful for thorough analysis and will not reject the idea simply because it does not coincide with your world view.
to pragmatists, then always try to test ideas in practice. You’re always experimenting. You want to do business, not just talk. When you read something interesting, you immediately want to do it.
Six reasons why learning pays off
A strong economic case for learning can be made. It contains six interrelated elements. It is interesting to note that this argument is the same for both organizations and individuals. It can only be distinguished by its form of expression.
- Efficiency of work. With training, you can increase productivity and work quality. This applies to both business and personal life.
- Advantage over competitors. At a time when human capital comes to the fore, learning may be the only inexhaustible source of competitive advantage – a role that real estate and financial capital have played in the previous two centuries. For the Internet and communications companies, this is obvious. But even in more traditional product businesses where knowledge of the customer base is important, quality information is invaluable. Moreover, there has never been any doubt that training – professional or otherwise – stimulates everyone’s work.
- Knowledge as one of the results of training. As Warren Bennis, an American academician, said: “The main challenge facing 21st century leaders is realizing the intellectual potential of their organizations. In practice, this means understanding the fact that many knowledge – both corporate and individual – very often remains on a hidden or subconscious level and is not embodied. In order to use this knowledge, it must be transferred to the conscious level and disseminated. For example, a team that has completed a complex project has gained experience in certain areas which, if not described and disseminated, will remain inaccessible to other parts of the organization. At the domestic level, it may look like this: teaching your son or daughter how to drive a car, you probably rely on your own experience. But in order to give useful advice, you will need to express your knowledge in words.
- There are at least three myths about knowledge management: that it is a new phenomenon, that it relates mainly to computer systems and that knowledge cannot be controlled at all. Knowledge can only be acquired through learning. Information is understood, and understanding is achieved by it. The understanding is then shared with others. The individual plays a key role in this process and the determinants of success are the speed and effectiveness of learning.
- Change. In the twentieth century, there were predictable cycles of innovation lasting several years. More than twenty years ago, English management authority Reg Revance said that if a company’s learning rate is lower than that of external change, its prosperity is impossible. Accelerated learning is very important for business survival, for flexibility and adaptability. Businesses need a diverse workforce, and people who learn throughout their lives are particularly valued. Rapid learning is essential to simply survive. This also applies to private life. How successfully you deal with problems such as unexpected relocation, divorce, death of a parent or family member depends on how well you have learned flexibility.
- Learning is key to successful cultural change. Too often people are simply told that they should do something different. But if you involve them in a discussion and let them learn new techniques, they will have an interest and their culture will change.
- Learning is a great stimulus. When a person’s qualifications are a determining factor in a job, people strive to improve their skills. In a 1998 study by the Campaign for Learning, 77 per cent of employees said they preferred an employer that supported their desire to learn rather than one that offered a better salary. People who learn in their spare time know how positive and stimulating this experience can be.