Learning from others

learn-300x225The moment we’re born, we are learning  – to walk and talk, eat and sleep. We don’t learn this in isolation, but by learning from others. We observe, listen, copy, fail and try again until we get it right. As we grow we do the same, learning from others around us, those who know how, who do it everyday or are just having a go themselves.

As educators we have boxed this concept. Each classroom contains someone who knows how or what and presents this to others who do not. While this works to some extent it has left us with a very sterile form of learning – children have little opportunity to see all the possibilities or to decide for themselves the best way to do something or whether they agree with a concept or method – instead of learning from seeing, experiencing and interaction with others, they are often just being fed the approved foods.

In my day-to-day work I learn how to improve by solving problems, having a go or evaluating what works best, but if I tried to do this on my own the options and opportunities would be limited. Instead I communicate with others, observe what they do and assess the success together – if I need an expert then I call on one, if I need more resources I search for them. I am not limited to what is in the room where I work – the world is my classroom.