To organizational researcher John Seely Brown (co-author: ‘A New Culture of Learning‘, 2011), the “entrepreneurial learner” is one who seizes opportunities to learn anywhere, anytime. With a disposition characterized by questioning, communicating, reflecting, and playing, such learners are increasingly valued in a job-world characterized by rapid and constant change. It’s also a disposition that is nurtured through an organic cultivation but not deliberate, didactic teaching.
“Entrepreneurial Learning” should be a hallmark of the much ballyhooed 21st Learning but as an innovative educator-administrator I lament how I continue to see/experience a society and bureaucratic culture that subordinates learning culture to a teaching and regurgitation culture, K – post-secondary. It’s beyond absurd when the overwhelming evidence about how to support optimal learning points to so many new and exciting practices, yet the default position of conventional schooling is stuck in outmoded practices like drill and kill above almost any innovative approach. With the introduction of Core Curriculum in the US and the rising influence rise of the testing-lobby, I’m seeing less willingness on the part of administrators to weave in more innovative educational practices. This was certainly borne out in our recent experiences in SelfDesign of trying to launch a Charter School in California.
It’s always been tough to be an “entrepreneurial learner”; now, when it should be easier, I see it as being tougher than ever. It’s the wrong signal for a society that continues to seek a footing in the face of a certainly uncertain future.
For information on my book: Learn Your Way! SelfDesigning the Life You Really Want, Starting Now (2011) and to order a copy, go here.