Make Learning and Self-Mastery a Priority in 2019
Generalization is a practice that attempts to make sense of dynamic conditions heuristically. As a result, we often refer to the professional experience as a gold standard to evaluate an individual to be placed in a leadership role. A security blanket if you wish, devised to achieve certainty when the conditions for certainty are an illusion.
The general and erroneous assumption is that experience inexorably leads to learning, while the reasonable benchmark should be that experience doesn’t always lead to learning. Therefore, placing experience in the context of facilitated adult-centered learning is achieved by leveraging the motivating factors to engage in an exploratory process that is self-directed, but is supplemented to crystallize prior knowledge, hence achieving an immersive state within a subject.
According to Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, the intellectual process of children is different from the process in adults. However, the natural characteristic of children as active thinkers, with a curiosity about their environment motivating them to adapt, is pertinent to the active learning of an adult capable of aligning cognitive processes to environmental and situational experiences leading to mastery, versatility, and transferability.
This condition is true as long as the adult learner is placed in a position to include their background experience, and derive relevant conclusions in function of their motivating factors and real-life necessities. The formation of learning cohorts in a specific industry, sector or segment, is the pathway to adult and executive learning, as leveraging the collective experience of the cohort achieves a higher level of cognitive engagement by respecting the prior learning and expecting the individual to contribute his/her experience as a “membership fee” in the cohort.
This aspect fits the context of andragogy, a perspective concerned with adult learning, as it leverages the self-concept of maturity held by the cohort members. Attempting to teach a cohort of this nature in a pedagogical fashion, inexorably clashes with the prior learning and results in scattered knowledge flowing in a unidirectional fashion, lowering the self-direction, self-mastery and collaborative exploration achieved in a mature environment.
The mere physical presence of an individual in a specific set of circumstances doesn’t ensure that the experience of those circumstances triggers the individual’s cognitive process as the learning process requires a mindful approach to personal mastery and a level of reflective thinking where the lessons of the lived circumstances result in incremental enrichment of the individual’s knowledge base. Change is the only constant, and the uncertainty that comes from the rate of change creates ambiguity.
Developing a sense of comfort with the external conditions will result in redefining the nature of challenges while increasing the ability to address those challenges collaboratively. May your 2019 be prosperous and bright.