A few things have happened to me over the last few days that has me thinking about learning and learning through experience.
It always amazes people how quickly children learn to use technology, how the 3 yr old can competently use and navigate around an ipad or iphone and the apps. I know technology is becoming more intuitive but when I compare that 3yr olds abilities with that of their 65yr old grandparent it becomes apparent that perhaps the technology is not as intuitive as we might think because if it was then shouldn’t the 3yr old and the 65yr old be equally competent in it’s use.
The other day I was doing some work on the computer and working with some tools for this course that are still new to me. The 3yr old who can competently navigate an ipad wanted to sit with me and “study” too, because I was still finding my feet and didn’t quite know how to use the tools I din’t let him join me but it got me thinking that maybe he would work it out quicker then he could show me.
This same small person also decided recently to help himself to the spray paint in dad’s garage and paint a bucket (and himself). I was recounting the story to some colleagues at lunch this week and it started a conversation about how young kids learn from watching, mimicking and experience. This conversation got me thinking abut the characteristics of young kids as learners versus adults as learners.
Now these are my observations but from my experience with kids as a nurse, dance teacher, aunt and mother they don’t care if they make mistakes, they like to explore and experience things, they learn about and explore their world through play, they experiment and mimic the behavior around them. As adults we aren’t as free in our learning, we are afraid to make mistakes, we are afraid to experiment because we might break something.
I am thinking that perhaps as adult learners we need to take a lesson from children and explore the world as though we are a child without the fear and worries that are perhaps limiting our learning potential. I wonder if my inquisitive 3yr old would have been able to show me a thing or two or would he have “broken” something and push me to learn so that I could fix it? I guess either way I would have learnt something.
If NGL is based in exploration which is the impression i am getting from my early investigation then perhaps as a learner I need to take a lesson from the little people around me and dive in and explore. I need to let go of my fear that I might break something or make a mistake and just give it a go and see where I end up.