Shifting learning

A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers – Helen Keller

In my current role, I am becoming increasingly aware of the need to shift learning from being driven by competency requirements to the needs of the learner and embed more relevant educational theories in the process. Add to this a constant cry for learning to be made available through more digital learning means. These shifts can result in challenges within the vocational education and training (VET) sector, particularly relating to the development of skills.

It can seem somewhat challenging to embed educational theory into competency-based training. Many fail to forget the origins of competency – behaviourism. Units of competency are written in such a way that behaviours (in the form of elements and performance criteria) can be observed only. But this one dimensional view of learning and training activities can result in boring, trainer led sessions that are disengaging for our adult learners.

There’s always new things to explore, new ways to see things, and opportunity to shift our focus to what’s in the best needs of the learner. This may be the classroom learner, or an individual who needs coaching.

What is it we need to start to think about first? How do we encourage best practice in learning? How do we refocus traditional learning/training development and delivery methodologies to be about the learner? What can we do as educators?

In further posts, I’ll explore further some of the challenges we face and actions we can take.

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