I have been interested in learning for many many years. Over that time I have studied pedagogy, androgogy and synergogy. Looked at learning styles like Kolb, Gartner and Bloom. My favourite is approach is “Situated Learning” or “Legitimate Peripheral Participation” as Lave and Wenger call it. Everyone else calls it apprenticeship.
I consider that the roles of business analyst and project manager are primarily roles where I help people learn. I provide training in the domain ( business analysis ) and training in the process of risk management ( project management ). Others can then do my job for me which reduces any key man dependency on myself. It also frees me up to do the most important thing of all…. Learn new things myself.
Over the years as I’ve studied learning, I’ve learned a few things and developed a few tricks. Here are a couple of them…
- Teaching is a commitment on the student and an option to the teacher. The teacher decides what the student needs to know and controls the agenda and the timetable. There is no real discussion with the student.
- Helping someone learn is an option to the student and a commitment by the “teacher”. They pull you in when they need to learn something.
- Too little emphasis is placed on holding the attention of the student. Too much emphasis is placed on delivering content. It is up to the student to stay engaged. Several years ago I decided to study Al Murray and Eddie Izzard as models for knowledge delivery. Both use real option based delivery (as most comedians do these days). As a result my primary focus is attention and engagement, Content delivery is a secondary consideration and option based. As a result I can run a session on financial maths for an hour.
I like to help people learn. I hate the idea of teaching.
I wish there was a word for someone who helps others learner. A learnee? Can anyone help? Perhaps there is a non English word we could appropriate. ( hopefully something Arabic like Caravan or Assassin ).