By David Perkins
In 2012-2013, LILA focused on a theme called ‘Learning at Work’. A paper emerged from that theme centered on learning stances. Although learning ecologies was not on the radar of ‘Learning at Work’, learning stances connect with learning ecologies.
What learning stances do we see when people are focused and engaged on getting things done?
THREE LEARNING STANCES: COMPLETION, PERFORMANCE AND DEVELOPMENT
- Completion Stance: someone with this stance seeks to execute a task and put it in the past. This is associated with accidental learning, where there’s not a strong drive to skill improvement. An example is taking out the trash.
- Performance Stance: someone with this stance focuses on executing a task especially well. This is associated with incidental learning; learning is part of doing the task well.
- Development Stance: someone with this stance focuses on developing toward the future. This fosters intentional learning: considering what lessons you can take away from a current project and apply to future projects.
Each of these stances has its adaptive moments; one is not always better than the other. Optimal learning stances depend on context.
WHY DO PEOPLE ASSUME PARTICULAR LEARNING STANCES?
If we think beyond the personal or individual, we want to consider the nudge-scape: What is going on in the context—the surroundings, the people you’re working with, the technological tools that are available—that nudges you towards a completion or performance or development stance?
The word ‘nudge’ is significant. There are no mandates that you must learn from this experience; instead, it is the micro-moments and micro-tools that influence our degree of engagement.
HOW CAN WE FOSTER PRODUCTIVE LEARNING STANCES—FOR OURSELVES AND FOR OUR ORGANIZATIONS? HOW CAN WE NUDGE THE ‘NUDGE-SCAPE’?
- Map the ‘nudge-scape’.
- What is already out there? What are the affordances? What are the disaffordances? What’s positive and working well? What’s negative? What’s distracting us?
- Nudge towards well-targeted reflective processing
- Create intentional time to integrate and reflect on learnings.
- Be realistic about bandwidth.
- A little bit can do a lot. Rich learning episodes do not need to take hours of time.
- Perfection can be the enemy of the good.
- Leverage the physical and computational environment.
- Leverage your group.
- Small groups can remind us of the important things.
- Information can reside in a cultural matrix instead of inside our heads.
To read more about Learning Stances, click here.