Action learning: useful links

The SSE was the first organisation in its field to recognise that ‘action learning’, both as a general approach and a particular methodology, was most appropriate to the development and support of social entrepreneurs. There is a lengthy-ish explanation of why this is the case here, but what it boils down to is the following:

that entrepreneurs prefer action to reflection: they want to get on with it. They are willing to explore their environment for opportunities and resources, and to take risks. They are “people” people. They aren’t interested in learning programmes that don’t seem relevant to them, and they often move straight into action without any educational preparation. They learn as they go.”

So learning by doing, action learning, fits best with the ways they work and the lives they lead. Action learning is also a specific process, as well as a more general approach, and was originally coined and introduced by Professor Reg Revans in the UK mining industry in the 1940s. He described action learning with the formula L = P + Q, where
Learning (L) occurs through Programmed knowledge (P) and insightful
Questioning (Q).

Action learning has now been taken up by other organisations in the field of social entrepreneurship, and more widely in the voluntary sector. Indeed, the new spangly Workforce Development Hub are looking at reviving what was a successful scheme for managers in the voluntary sector….see the Action Learning Matters website for more details.

And if you wish to become an uber-geek on action learning all in, then check out the following links:

12 Manage on Action Learning (good intro)
Action Learning Associates (general info)
What is Action Learning (including photo of Reg Revans himself)
Action Learning: Research and Practice (academic journal)
The International Foundation for Action Learning and others
Action Learning by Krystyna Weinstein (practical handbook; available from SSE library ;0) )
ABC of Action Learning by Reg Revans himself…


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