Sadje’s Sunday Poser #121 asks us about learning, posing the following 2 questions, which I will answer:
- Are you trying to learn new things, skills or languages?
- Do you think it matters if we acquire new skills?
I think we are constantly learning, or have the opportunity to learn, just not always realizing when it’s happening. We think of learning as formal and structured lessons, but even by reading this post you will be learning. You may find ideas that hadn’t occurred before – so that’s learning, but even if all you learn is my opinion, if you didn’t know it before, you have learned something new. Learning opportunities are all around and I believe yes, it does matter that we continue to learn. Within the world of work its important to keep our skills current, but even when we stop working we should continue to keep our “little gray cells” active.
Work Related Learning and Development
The world we live in today is dynamic; we need to be continually learning so we don’t get left behind – whether that’s for work or personally. However, to keep ourselves employable and to do the best job we can, we need to keep our skills and knowledge up-to-date. Even if we think as bloggers, we practice our writing skills, keep up-to-date with the changes introduced by Automatic and whether we are pro or con, we’re all mostly keeping an eye on what’s happening with AI/ChatGPT etc.
Additionally, many people who are members of professional bodies have a requirement to keep abreast of current trends and practices within their professional field. It will be a legal requirement to practice – doctors, lawyers, teachers etc – we cannot do our jobs if we don’t fulfil the requirement of continuous professional development.
So we can voluntarily take on the responsibility for our own development, or we may have our employers make the decisions for us. If you work for an organistion which uses performance management systems and some form of performance appraisal/review you will likely also set objectives and hopefully identify your training and development needs or they will be set by your managers – like it or not, sometimes we need to undergo training to keep up to date with policies, practices and legislation within our organisations.
Engaging with learning on an ongoing basis also acts to keep our minds active and in later years it may help reduce some of the risk of dementia etc. Moving away from the medical/physiological benefits of continuing to learn, it also feeds our curiosity – or at least it does mine. We should learn because we seek information, seek knowledge. As I mentioned above, the world we live in is dynamic, to keep up with events and the emergence of new technolgies etc.
Learning doesn’t have to be structured courses – we can learn in all sorts of interesting ways, and ways that fit with us individually. One of the most passionate learners I know is my brother. He’s always reading about new research, new technologies, discoveries. He’s always watching documentaries etc and sending me so much about what he’s learning – I’m learning extensively from the feeds he sends me. He’s like a sponge and his enthusiasm and thirst for learning is inspiring.
What am I learning?
You’ll not be surprised if I say I’m learning a wide range of things, but my focused learning includes:
- Improving and enhancing my blogging skills, including learning more about the management of my blogging website
- I’m developing my creative writing skills and hope, later in the year, to do something more formal.
- I’m doing a course which is teaching me how to focus my own teaching to develop the skills students will need in the modern workplace
- I’m going to do a course on teaching and supporting students with PTSD
- I guess I should also mention my own post from the other day – learning about myself – developing my own identity.
Returning to Sadje’s questions – yes I do think its important to acquire new skills – to be continually learning; and as outlined above, I’m learning lots of new things.
How about you? What are you learning currently? How do you ensure that you are continually developing?
If you’ve not signed up to my blog yet, I’d encourage you to do so to ensure you continue to learn new things.