Social learning – pervasive or choice?

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2 Responses

  1. Julian Stodd says:

    Hey Peter, you’re right that i’ve taken quite a narrow view of ‘social’ here: a timely reminder to me to challenge my own perspectives! I guess that i’m using it in the way that my clients to e.g. to ‘implement social learning’ as a project, perhaps rather than the concept of ‘social’ or communal learning that we may subscribe to (sometimes organisations refer to this as ‘tribal’, although definitions/jargon seem somewhat interchangeable and i suspect i’m not helping the debate…)

    My own thinking in this areas is evolving rapidly: from initial pieces, such as the one you look at, where i’m pretty much focussed on the practicalities of ‘how to implement’, through to some of my recent thinking around the need for Social Leadership (as a layer of capability around traditional leadership approaches) [] and the wider question of how the very nature of work is changing in the Social Age [].

    Some of this is captured in this piece as a manifesto for the social age (although, like most of my blog writing, these are iterating ideas!):

    The points that you highlight around the ‘darker side’ of social learning still concern me: disenfranchisement through either lack of access or low social capital is a significant risk and one that needs addressing, as well as wider questions of moral and ethical frameworks in global social learning spaces (for example gender and sexual equality in communities that cross legal/moral physical cultures), although that’s a bigger debate!

    I do agree that my viewpoint in the original piece was narrow, although i think i tend to recognise that ‘social’ is everywhere. I think we agree that it’s something L&D should focus on: for me, that focus has to be built around developing (a) their recognition that it exists and (b) specific methodologies to ‘do’ it.

    Thanks for making me think about this again (and to @Fdomon for prompting the thinking!).

    I’d enjoy staying in touch and sharing some of these ideas further, best wishes, Julian

    • Pete Evans says:

      Hi Julian

      Thanks for the reply. Its a good point on differentiating between the concept of social learning and the intentional activities to support and enhance social learning in organisations. I’ll follow-up on your more recent posts and the manifesto. I’ve been working (academically and practically ;-) ) on the social in and between organisations in relation to learning and knowledge management where these issues of disenfranchisement from and empower to learn are key issues. The cultural and ethical issues are fascinating and, as you say, part of a larger debate.
      I’d absolutely agree about the need to rethink the role of the L&D function in terms of recognition of and supporting social learning – I’m often surprised how wedded to formal learning interventions many L&D practitioners can be.
      Anyway, i enjoyed you post which made me think & reflect – always a good thing to do – and hope to share more.
      Best wishes

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