Learning by adaptation

In most of the books that i have come in touch with, the word learning literally means the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, practice, or study, or by being taught or measurable and relatively permanent change in behavior through experience, instruction, or study. Whereas individual learning is selective, group learning is essentially political its outcomes depend largely on power playing in the group. Learning itself cannot be measured, but its results can be. In the words of Harvard Business School psychologist Chris Argyris, learning is “detection and correction of error” where an error means “any mismatch between our intentions and what actually happens.” Human learning may occur as part of education, personal development, schooling, or training. It may be goal-oriented and may be aided by motivation.

In community structures a lot of learning takes whether in a small village meeting, sub county dialogues and even at districts. This kind of learning is in most cases not documented even though its aimed at creating a permanent  positive change in a community. For example  a village dialogue about eliminating defecation in water ponds will create a lasting impact in the community because one person has talked about. This kind of learning is called adaptation learning.

Darwin ‘s Adaptation theory, also known as survival theory or survival of the fittest, is an organism’s ability to adapt to changes in its environment and adjust accordingly over time. Adaptations occur over generations of a species with those traits that help an individual animal eat and mate most profusely being passed down from generation to generation until the whole species changes to be better suited to their environment.This theory explains man ‘s ability to adapt to any environment basing on what others are doing at a particular time.

The idea of Community Led total Sanitation (CLTs) which focuses on eliminating open defecation (OD) where Communities are facilitated to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of open defecation (OD) and take their own action to become ODF (open defecation free) uses the same concept of adaptation.CLTS focuses on the behavioural change needed to ensure real and sustainable improvements – investing in community mobilisation instead of hardware, and shifting the focus from toilet construction for individual households to the creation of open defecation-free villages. The big idea comes through when individuals shift from what everyone seems to used to and adapting to health sustainable ways.

Transfer of learning is the application of skill, knowledge or understanding to resolve a novel problem or situation. which happens when certain conditions are fulfilled. Research indicates that learning transfer is infrequent; most common when “… cued, primed, and guided…”[22] and has sought to clarify what it is, and how it might be promoted through instruction. However whichever method that knowledge is transferred, adaptation is key in ensuring behaviour change at any level.

                      My imagination of how learning at institutional level occurs





Social Learning in Business

Most learning happens informally on the job. Formal instruction, or training, accounts for less than 20%, and some research shows it is about 5% of workplace learning. It is suggested, though not obligatory, that participants have attended the workshop on Moving from Training to Performance Support or have some experience in the fields of performance improvement or HPT. We will look at ways to enhance social learning, or people learning together while working.

We have come to a point where organizations can no longer leave learning to their HR or training departments. Being able to understand emerging situations, see patterns, and co-solve problems are essential business skills. Learning is the work.



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