From knowledge to competence
Learning should not just impart technical and specialized knowledge, skills training, and an accumulation of qualifications. Learning should also result in the discovery of self-organized solutions for specific, relevant problems. This is a skill which is acquired not only though schooling, but also within the framework of projects and real work situations. The focus is on informal learning and is linked to traditional qualifications.
Self-organization is particularly important because it encourages learners to make their own contributions and to direct their own learning. If cooperation with others for mutual learning then works, the right mix has been achieved, and the foundation has been laid for a real learning commitment. As Swiss educational reformist Peter Fratton wrote in his “Pädagogische Urbitten” (Educational Plea) concerning autonomous learning in the structured environment: “Don’t educate me – but rather familiarize and accompany me, don’t teach me anything – but rather let me participate, don’t explain anything to me – but give me time to experience it, don’t motivate me – but rather yourself!”
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow
New technologies are opening up a whole new, almost infinite world to human beings – this has a significant impact on our training content, our teaching methods, and the channels through which knowledge is built. Today, it’s possible to conveniently browse through enormous libraries on the Internet, or to ask experts for advice and information on any given topic through forums or social networks. And it won’t end there, because a new learning trend from the USA is now taking hold: so-called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which make it possible for millions of people to acquire knowledge free of charge or very inexpensively. A more democratic access to education hasn’t existed since the invention of modern book printing – and that was 566 years ago. How we learn, what we learn, where we learn, and with whom we learn – the future holds