Mohamed Amine Chatti extends the framework on personal knowledge networks with his post on Learning as a Network (follow link for graphic):
The Learning as a Network (LaaN) perspective draws together some of the concepts behind double-loop learning and connectivism. It starts from the learner and views learning as the continuous creation of a personal knowledge network (PKN). For each learner, a PKN is a unique adaptive repertoire of:
– One’s theories-in-use. This includes norms for individual performance, strategies for achieving values, and assumptions that bind strategies and values together (conceptual/internal level) Tacit and explicit knowledge nodes (i.e. people and information) (external level
Here is Chris Argyris’ double-loop learning theory in a nutshell:
“There are four basic steps in the action theory learning process: (1) discovery of espoused and theory-in-use, (2) invention of new meanings, (3) production of new actions, and (4) generalization of results. Double loop learning involves applying each of these steps to itself. In double loop learning, assumptions underlying current views are questioned and hypotheses about behavior tested publically. The end result of double loop learning should be increased effectiveness in decision-making and better acceptance of failures and mistakes.”
And here is George Siemens’ Connectivism theory:
Connectivism is the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, and complexity and self-organization theories. Learning is a process that occurs within nebulous environments of shifting core elements – not entirely under the control of the individual. Learning (defined as actionable knowledge) can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database), is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing.
Finally, you can get a quick overview of the Cynefin model and complexity with this video from Anecdote.
So that’s: double-loop learning – connectivism – complexity; three concepts, each requiring some depth of understanding . No wonder this is a hard sell in the boardroom. Many people think of learning as school, training as something that is delivered, and complexity as problems that can be solved with effort and resources.
Like Mohamed, I am interested in these theories but my true passion is in implementing frameworks for the workplace. I too think that merging learning and knowledge management into our work is a good way to help organizations deal with complexity.
Here’s a possible elevator pitch for learning as a network, or PKM:
Is your work becoming more complex? How much complexity is there in the markets or the environment? Can anyone predict what’s going to happen next? Obviously many of the world’s economists have been wrong about most things. Looking backwards hasn’t helped us much.
In a complex world we cannot predict outcomes but we can engage our environment and learn by doing. That makes constant learning a critical business skill. But how do we help people develop that skill?
Giving tools and teaching by example is a good way to start. People need to make connections and see patterns and then reflect, criticize and detect errors. Only in a trusting, collaborative workplace can this happen.
Want to know more? Well let me you tell a story …