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H808 – The savvy learner (Dealtry, 2004)

December 2, 2010

“Savvy” – Origin: 1785 Pidgin English imitating Spanish, Sabe usted – “you know”.
“Savvy” – Definition: Having the intellect to know or understand. Shrewd and knowledgeable. Having practical common sense; nous and gumption. Having savoir-faire, the ability to say and do the right thing in any situation. Having the gift of “wit”, i.e. ingenuity in creatively connecting diverse ideas – a person gifted with this power.

To climb the ‘Learners Olympus’ you have to be a savvy, self-directed, well-organised, independent, risk-taking learner, who made the successful learning transition from passive, prescribed learning, and stay ‘inflow’ within the creative learning pathway, feel accountable for the own learning efficacy and successful manage a balance between all the stakeholders involved in the learning experience, thus the learner, the organisation, colleagues, family and providers. These learners ‘will be on the road to releasing their full potential’ (Dealtry, 2004).

I agree with Dealtry that the learning-to-learn process is very important and that learning needs to be self-directed, intrinsic and maintained by the own infrastructure, but I have been never really told how important it is, and I would not say there is no need to do it, as a teacher you should possess ownership of learning otherwise we would not be able to teach how to learn, but in my context it is assumed to know how to learn, but there are less infrastructure resources, very few incentives and it is not really promoted and valued. So why take the stony, upward trail when you take the highway?

Dealtry reminds me a little bit on Jay Cross, 2006 who compares informal learning with the bike paths instead of the bus route. Informal learning can be understood as any activity involving the pursuit of understanding, knowledge or skill which occurs without the presence of externally imposed curricular criteria. Informal learning may occur in any context outside the pre-established curricula of educative institutions (Livingstone, 2001).

Cross (2006) states: “Formal learning is like riding a bus. The driver decides where the bus is going; the passengers are along for the ride. On the opposite end, informal learning is like riding a bike: the rider chooses the destination, the speed, and the route. The rider can take a detour at a moment’s notice to admire the scenery or go to the bathroom”.

Here are my personal highlights from Dealtry’s article.

The terminology and/or metaphor he uses e.g. transition learning, learner-gate and all the figures where he visualize learning development. I have to admit that I never heard about CV plus and I though my CV starts with elementary school do I know understand that my CV plus lacks important features of my early childhood 😉

I know that different factors influences learning, including past experience learning, incentives and personal learning styles, just to name a few, but SHOCK was so far not a factor that I regarded, although I am sometimes pretty shocked about the requirements of this course. Well, all in all a good article which brought the realisation that there is still a lot to be done.

From → H808

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