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Three Perspectives on Learning

The theory of learning has developed over the years into a philosophy in which three perspectives on learning are expanded: 1. the perspective of the problem, 2. the perspective of the context and 3. the perspective of cognition.

1. Perspective of the issue: landscape of learning

Which interventions are used in trajectories? Intervision? Coaching? Open space? When will which shapes be chosen? Why now 'intervision'? What are the questions that arise in the organization, and what do they actually appeal to (what interventions do they ask for)?

Often choices for interventions are made intuitively, or they're the result of personal preferences. It's not easy to get an overview in an intervention repeater of a professional or an organization and there's little order in all those interventions, so that targeted choices can't be made so easily. The first goal of the landscape of learning is to provide a foundation for this.

However, as soon as we start choosing interventions, there will be more to look at. There are many steps in learning: making explicit what you already know, exchanging and learning from each other, gaining new knowledge, making the link with your own practice (because not all knowledge probably fits equally well), reflecting practically,... Yet we often suffice with one or two forms. For example: we do seminars, supplemented with peer review. The 'participants' then often assume that with the choice of training, their problem will also be solved and the development will follow.

However, with this single approach we don't do justice to learning. You can rarely support learning processes with one activity, one form, for which you need a strategy. How do you design a clear strategy around an organization's development issue, or how do you help someone with a development question go a step further than the choice of course? These are the questions for which the Landscape of Learning is designed.

The Landscape of Learning is a model that works as:

- underlay for interventions
- aid in the choice
- tool in strategy making

In addition to these applications, the landscape of learning is also glasses to:

- to map learning in an organization,
- to reflect on the current strategy, the learning offer and the vision on learning and development
- and provide a new foundation for learning and development, appropriate to the goals of the organization and the challenges it faces

2. Perspective of the context: learning preferences

Learning is and remains important in organizations. The way in which learning is now organized often raises question marks and frustration. Is this the way now? What does it actually yield? Many contemporary views are therefore about the transition from education to learning. But it isn't that simple. Old beliefs about 'training' continue to get in the way of learning.

Learning is as characteristic of being a person as breathing. You do it marked and unnoticed, from an early age. From the age of four, however, some of those experiences are also referred to as 'learning', and that concept is loaded with 'school' meanings. That doesn't provide a carefree positive experience for everyone. As a result, 'learning' also has connotations: as an obligation, not being able, in a suit of armor, structured and that gets in the way of talking about and organizing learning!

The fact is that everyone learns differently. The fact is that not everyone likes to talk about learning easily or easily. The fact is that learning often refers to the 20% who are conscious (and often schools) and not to the 80% who are unconscious (and often much more playful). Nevertheless, learning in and around organizations, individually and together, is and remains of great importance.

How to deal with that? How do we recognize someone's way of learning? How do we give space to diversity? How do we organize learning in such a way that we advance it and don't frustrate it? The learning preferences provide a contextual context in which someone likes to learn. It's about the physical design of an environment, the nature of the collaboration, the nature of the issues and knowledge that someone likes to work on, and the way of making one's own.

Thinking about and working with learning preferences is supported by a learning scan with which it's possible to map out on an individual, group and organizational level what learning looks like for an individual or a group of people. Mapping learning preferences helps determine the appropriate interventions in developing an organization.

3. Perspective of Cognition: Thinking Habits

The thinking habits provide a look behind the scenes, what thinking steps does a person take when he or she's learning? and how does this support or interfere with work and personal development?

The thinking habits indicate where qualities lie: can someone think creatively, is he or she good at guiding conversations, or making clear analyzes of problems? But vice versa, thinking habits also provide an important perspective on development: Do you constantly encounter the same issue? Is it not always possible to work more systematically, to negotiate, to be visible, to take decisions? Then the next training will no longer help! Instead, take a look at your thinking habits. Chances are you'll find an explanation and a possible solution there.

This also works at organizational level. Is an organization unable to become more innovative or to develop decision-making speed? Then the explanation may be in the thinking habits.

This perspective is also supported by a learning scan that gives an impression at individual, group and organizational level of the habits used to shape continuous development in person, profession and organization.

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