Learning 3.0 – How Creative Workers Learn

51LCIDteMbL._SX371_BO1,204,203,200_Just before my flight to Barcelona for a short holiday I quickly added the book ‘Learning 3.0 – How Creative Workers Learn‘ by Alexandre Magno to my Kindle. I couldn’t have made a better choice. The travel time was spend wisely on reading the book, my girlfriend was the (un)lucky one to whom I could share my enthusiasm and gained insights, she didn’t have many¬†other options ūüôā

In this blog post I will share the highlights of the book and the concept of Learning 3.0. Please check¬†the book for the full context, it’s definitely worth reading!

This blog post only contains highlights of the first part of the book. The upcoming period I will also describe the underlying principles and practices which are mentioned in other parts.

PS.¬†Alexandre agreed with the fact I’ve shared parts of his book in this blog post…

Prescriptive Learning vs Emergent Learning

The book Learning 3.0 examines two types of learning: prescriptive and emergent.

  1. Prescriptive learning is based on knowledge and skills that are pre-determined for the learners – not from them. Learners are like empty containers into which the expert must deposit knowledge.
  2. Emergent learning happens when it is self-organised. It arises in unpredictable environments from relationships among a number of people and resources within a context in which learners organise and determine to some extent both the process and the learning destinations.

Both forms can be applied in the product of learning (the “what” and “why”) and the process of learning (the “when”, “where” and “how”).

The whole idea is that learning is best done¬†by people acquiring ideas from various sources, running experiments in their own context, and then sharing their insights with their peers. It’s about creating your own knowledge, by gathering, experimenting, and sharing.

The Three Versions of Learning

  • Learning 1.0 is the pure application of prescriptive learning, the expert defines the questions and answers. In these scenarios, emergent learning only happens accidentally, usually representing a failure in the process. This model is most used by educational institutions.
  • Learning 2.0¬†encourages the learner to define¬†questions, the expert defines the answers. Prescriptive learning remains the foundation of learning, but elements from emergent learning are already applied intentionally, even in a small amount.
  • Learning 3.0 takes emergent learning as the basis for learning to happen in complex domains. This base has a few basic elements of prescriptive learning, however, that act as constraints to stimulate the self-organization in learning. The learner defines questions and answers.

The Creative Worker

The book was designed to create value for people who want to understand how creativity and learning will be key pieces for building successful careers during the twenty-first century. Creative workers are not necessarily only those that operate in the creative economy, but rather anyone that acts in a creative way while performing their job.

  • A creative worker is someone who, when faced with a problem, raises alternatives instead of limiting herself to known solutions.
  • A big part of the abilities you will need to discover start with the word “self”: e.g. self-knowledge, self-discovery, self-development, and self-motivation.
  • The greater the love for what you do, the greater your curiosity and your will to explore, and your capacity to be creative.
  • For creative workers, the learning must emerge from practice, of real problems and solutions. These workers will not be sufficiently motivated to learn if they do not see the purpose in what is being taught or shared. To them, each new lesson has to have a direct relation to his past, present, or future work.
  • Creative workers create and nurture communities around them and through those communities emerges a big part of the learning necessary to deal with the professional challenges of the twenty-first century.

Learning 1.0

  • In learning 1.0, you are a knowledge receiver, and you expect that an expert will decide on what (learning product) and how (learning process) you should learn.
  • The experts are the ones making the decisions about the learning product and process. It is they who define the learning goals, the content to be learned, the mechanisms to be used, and space and time for this to happen.
  • It is they who “deposit” the established knowledge into the student’s “empty boxes”
  • Dynamics and exercises that make reference to the real world are applied, but the learning takes place in a safe environment, usually in classrooms.
  • The learning is assessed through tests that classify people by grades. These grades will determine who has learned and who hasn’t learned.

Learning 2.0

  • In Learning 2.0 more time is invested in dialogue and interaction, especially in the learning product.
  • At the same time, we maintain the expectation that the expert is the bearer of the correct answers.¬†Most of the time, these experts are external and advise local workers to deal with the challenges presented. They usually don’t do the work, the simply advise.
  • It is prescriptive learning that has received some elements of emergent learning. It creates¬†conformist workers, not creative ones.
  • The result of learning, when assessed, is measured by solving a real problem in practice.¬†With a collection of best practices at hand, workers think they have found the answers – and hence stop exploring solutions too early.

Learning 3.0

  • In Learning 3.0 it’s more about stories and ideas than about lessons and advice
  • Learning is related to real work; it’s not outside it
  • The one who learns becomes the protagonist, having higher (or total) influence on the product and on the process of learning.
  • Learning emerges from the connection of stories, ideas, and practice, and equal discussion through a problematised situation from the real world.
  • Challenging good and best practices is encouraged from the intentional confrontation of multiple perspectives.
  • Viewing the learning is more important than measuring it.

The Learning 3.0 Flow

Sharing is essential for the emergent learning to continue living, as it is from there that you will reap new opinions, which you will again connect, creating even more knowledge. In the Learning 3.0 flow the creative workers are the protagonists of their own learning. They problematise what needs to be learned, learn in an integrated way with their real world and share what they have learned.

  • In Learning 3.0, the construction of knowledge begins taking as its base a problem or challenge from the real world, which is what we call problematisation.
  • From this follows a sensemaking process, which gives meaning to the organised material or results that will collide with your real world. The most common practices in this process are research, connection, and practice.
  • The learning cycle is complete only after sharing the knowledge that has been built.

Sharing is the New Teaching

The main characteristic of the twenty-first century market is unpredictability. An unpredictable environment is one that is constantly changing and, consequently, constantly learning. Therefore, if there is a change, it is necessary to learn and, if there are people learning, the probability of change increases exponentially.

With this new thinking we should be able to promote learning at a rate equal or greater than the rate of change in our environment. The Learning 3.0 flow supports this new way of learning, hereby taking the viewpoint of “Sharing is the new teaching” instead of “Teaching is the best way to learn”.

Companies must pay attention to creating an environment that fosters collaboration and learning, and not just entertainment. Organizations will increasingly hire workers for their ability to learn, not for what they already know. Hence the need to re-learn to learn. The concept of Learning 3.0 can hereby act as a great foundation and inspiration!

The upcoming period I’ll describe the principles and practices of Learning 3.0 and how to start applying them.

What is your opinion about the concept of Learning 3.0?