I believe there is a true learning revolution afoot, and given that Mission to Learn is a blog about lifelong learning, it seems only appropriate that I offer up a definition of learning as I see it. So here’s how I define learning:
Learning is the lifelong process of transforming information and experience into knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes.
I might add to that:
- Learning is not dependent upon classes and courses – though these can be very useful tools
- It does not require a degree, certificate, or grade to prove its worth – though clearly these have social value that most people would be unwise to ignore
- It does require – in varying degrees, and in varying times and circumstances – activities like practice, reflection, interaction with the environment (in the broadest sense), and social interaction. The latter, in particular, can be greatly facilitated by the range of new technologies for communication and collaboration now available to us.
- It does not always – probably not even most of the time – happen consciously – though I think that those who strive for a more conscious approach to learning throughout their lives – whether at work or otherwise – tend to be more successful in pretty much whatever way they define success.
I think that pretty well sums up the definition of learning that drives my efforts here at Mission to Learn. What do you think? Does this jibe your definition of learning? What would you add or take away? Please comment and share your thoughts on how to define learning.
P.S. – If you are interested in this definition of learning, then you may also be interested in:
- My book on How to Be a Better Learner
- My definition of social learning
- My definition of lifelong learning
- My book on transforming K-12 education
posted on May 21, 2009
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