My colleague, and Adobe’s Ambassador for eLearning, Ellen Wagner, was teasing me this morning about whether my interest in ‘slow learning’ isn’t just “lifelong learning”. Frankly, I hadn’t looked at lifelong learning, but my initial take was that it wasn’t.
So, I googled “lifelong learning” and the wikipedia entry confirmed my suspicions:
I realize that this is undoubtedly not all of lifelong learning, this bit elaborates a bit:
Lifelong learning sees citizens provided with learning opportunities at all ages and in numerous contexts: at work, at home and through leisure activities, not just through formal channels such as school and higher education.
Which could be what I’m talking about, but I want to be very clear about what I mean by ‘slow learning’. Not to diminish the importance of the other components, but the concept I’m talking about is not receiving sufficient attention and I want to tease it out.What I’m talking about with slow learning are little interventions dribbled out over long periods of time. The metaphor is not attending an event, but having a personal mentor guiding you throughout your life, with an intervention pattern of a small amount of content or activity at a particular moment.
While there’s a role for the course, there’re problems. Some behaviors and attitudes are not amenable to quick fixes. Other changes are really long sequences of development. We need courses, but I want to argue that a useful, perhaps necessary, adjunct is a long-term development approach.
So there, Ellen!