Is it really a month since my last posting?
The question which is on my mind today is where does informal learning happen. Looking at the literature around informal learning – and I feel at the moment that the more I read, the more confused I get – there appears to be a lot of focus on relating informal learning to work contexts. I am in no doubt that much informal learning does happen in relation to work, afterall, most adults spend most of their working hours at work. But although informal learning might be related to work, that does not necessarily also mean that it happens at work, but it might be that information acquired in other contexts can be applied in a work setting.
I can remember in the past having the concept of a rucksack that I carry with me at all times and which contains the various skills, knowledge, information, ideas which I have acquired on life’s journey. Some of the contents have been acquired through formal education, some through various courses, conferences and workshops and hearing and observing how other people do things, some have been acquired in one context to be applied in another, some are a jumble of facts which I’m not sure how I will ever use. Sometimes I can see how skills learned in one setting have been directly and usefully used in other settings; groupwork skills learned in social and community work settings have been used in teaching, writing skills gained as a local authority officer have been used in presenting the case for appropriate educational provision for my son, presentation skills learned in working with committees have been used in teaching and presenting at conferences, cooking skills learned at guide camp have been used at bbqs and in home entertaining… I could go on. Some knowledge sits there waiting for an appropriate airing – I know linen thread is more brittle than cotton but until such time as I engage again in lace making that, together with other facts about threads, pins, etc, is of little practical use to me.
So the question I am interested in exploring is where have you learned stuff – and what kind of stuff have you learned?