IEA Training Manual - Module 8

5.1 What do We Call Learning?

For the purpose of this module, we define learning as a process that brings about behaviour change, or changes in the ability to act differently, based on emotional or cognitive changes taking place during information collection and processing.

This definition underscores three important points:

  • learning is more than knowledge creation;
  • learning is demonstrated by behaviour change; and
  • information processing, in addition to information collection, is of paramount importance.

In preparing for promoting a learning culture throughout the IEA process, it is important to be aware of some of the characteristics of learning.

Both individuals and organizations learn in cycles characterized by well-defined phases.

Typically, there are four phases in an individual learning process (Figure 7):

  1. Linking the new experience to existing knowledge (connect).
  2. Using the new experience to seek new information (take-up).
  3. Applying the new information in an existing context (practice).
  4. Using and reviewing the new information in a new context (use and review).

Evaluation and monitoring are learning opportunities during which we compare the knowledge and skills we have had with, the new knowledge and skills we gained, and we use lessons learned to improve our next decisions (action).

Figure 7: Learning Cycle

You can apply the learning cycle concept to enhance learning throughout the IEA process. In Exercise 6 you are going to experience how conscious learning can improve a specific stage of the national IEA process.

Source: (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1990)

See Exercise 8.5.1

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