The Action Learning Model
|Classroom based||Workplace based|
|Fixed/Set curriculum||Open/Flexible curriculum|
|Individual orientation||Group/Team orientation|
|Inputs are key||Outputs are key|
|Knowledge matters||Action/results matter|
|Focused on solving puzzles||Focused on solving problems|
|Teach people the right answers||Teach people the right questions|
|Generally closed minded||Generally open minded|
|Learning occurs individually||Learning occurs individually and collectively|
|1Past orientation||Present and future orientation|
|Downward expression of certainty||Upward expression of doubt|
|Cost of investment||Return from investment required|
|Internally focused||Externally focused|
|Converges to a single best option||Diverges towards greater options|
As this chart indicates, perhaps the most significant difference in relation to Action Learning is the fact that it assumes that learning is most effective when it relates to real and practical issues and what is then “studied” is flexibly assembled on a flexible “just-in-time” basis. In other words, an Action Learning approach is more interested in what works in practice than what may have worked in the past (in theory or in practice). This is not to say that past knowledge is not important but that it should only be drawn upon when relevant and applicable, when related to present issues.
The other key factor in relation to an Action Learning approach is that it is predomwinantly a team based system or collectively orientated system. As a consequence, learning is best achieved in a learning set or a group of people all interested in the same broad subject area, topic, issue, challenge or general goal. This allows each person to learn both individually and collectively as part of the set and to share ideas at every stage.
Click here to review the Action-Learning cycle that underpins the 20/20 MDS® system.