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The Self Directed Learning Academy

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An article for Training Journal January 2017- what is a self-directed learning academy and how can I help create one?

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The Self Directed Learning Academy

  1. 1. @TrainingJournal42 | January 2017 | and finally... K, I’m biased.We all are.Yet for this article I’m biased because I experienced some- thing in 2012 that reshaped my entire view on learning and the world of work. What I experienced was an alter- native university run by students, built on autonomous learning where the sole reason for its existence was the love of learning and the disdain for the conven- tional models of learning that were not serving the learners’interests or needs. I believe we’re in a time when we can not only take a more active part in our lives, but be informed better about that activation ... once we see past fake news and algorithmic echo chambers on social networks, of course. 2012, Bucharest: I was invited to speak at a conference and I had a translator buddy for sessions in Romanian. I asked my translator, Ana, whether this was her job – translating. “No,” she said, “I’m a student at an alternative university in Bucharest.” Stopped. Dead. In. My.Tracks. I asked questions galore and got to see this first hand that very evening. A house in urban Bucharest turned into a learning ‘studio’of rooms and posters, and resources and people who were there as learner-teachers. This concept was started by students disenfranchised with conventional education.This was a university in spirit with no formal ratification or qualifications.Yet this was a It allows learning professionals to stop being the players of others’ music and be the conductors of outstanding symphonies of learning o ❝ last standA v i e w o f t h e w o r l d w i t h a w i t t y q u i p o r t w o ! Perry Timms sees the power of learner-led academies place where learning bound everyone together.Where collaborative learning and scenario-led exploration exploded from every room in the learning house. It has continued to grow and Cros.ro is now a WorldBlu-certified, freedom-centred workplace. It is attract- ing interest from corporate sponsors, has rotational and optional leadership and is still powered by the love of learning. It influenced me so much that I recalibrated my entire working proposition to become more of a people-powered, democratically- constituted and self-managed advocate. I’ve now researched and spent time with some of the world’s most liberating organisations. All because I saw the power in a learner-led academy. Not a rebranded intranet site. A truly self-managed process of enterprise and discovery that is driven by a thirst for better. So what does this mean for our cor- porate learning machinery and tenders of development? I think it signals a need and an opportunity to co-create. I think it allows learning professionals to stop being the players of others’music and be the conductors of outstand- ing symphonies of learning. It is the successful operating model in organisations like Buurtzorg in the Netherlands where nursing development is self-managed. In Menlo Innovations in the US where pair-learning thrives in digital creation. In Next Jump in the US and UK – where learning partners have replaced line managers. In Nearsoft in Mexico where learning powers invention, service and success in IT. So I’d encourage all L&D professionals to consider more learner-led academy creation, and here are my tips on how: `` Start creating the self-organised, adaptable organisation through self-organised, adaptive learning programmes. Make a declaration of learner independence. `` Reposition L&D as the most advanced aspect of intelligence, insight and trends: not the busiest order-takers. L&D leads the charge by being the most autonomous, tuned-in learners there are. `` Teach autonomy in learning and how to help others learn. Build the capa- bilities. Cull bureaucracy but increase impact assessment, data collection and story-telling from autonomous learners. Don’t adapt old processes, create an entirely new model and set of supporting activities. Perry Timms is the founder of PTHR (People & Transformational HR). He can be contacted at perry@pthr.co.uk; on Twitter @PerryTimms; through LinkedIn at PerryTimms; on Google+ at +PerryTimms, or via Tumblr at PerryMTimms 42 TJ last stand Timms SUBBED.indd 42 19/12/2016 14:04:33

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