Real learning is not copying

I came across a great quote by American choreographer Twyla Tharp in the Harvard Business Review (April 2008):

Real learning is not copying. Copying is taking somebody else’s solutions. Learning is taking someone else’s problems.

I’m often asked where my real learning comes from; how I know the things I do; and how the learning frameworks I subscribe to are shaped. It is pretty simple really; it is through the exchange of ideas with colleagues, peers and good literature.

For me, good theory is good practice. I find you cannot hope to absorb everything you need without something to stretch and challenge your existing mindsets and assumptions. That’s why good literature is so vital to good educators.

I’ve recently been reading some excellent literature, which explores the challenges for educators. I highly recommend How People Learn by Bransford et al and the OECD’s Think Scenarios, Rethink Education as a source of real learning.

And for anyone wanting to understand the social and economic impacts of a knowledge age, should read Daniel Pink’s Whole New Mind. This is a sensational read that really gives a great lens with which to view today’s world. It is challenging in the extreme!

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