What is learning?

February 20, 2013 | bit-wartung | Learning Elsewhere |


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By Nadia von Holzen, SDC

Learning has many facets, colours and forms. Tracey Martin wrote a poem on his very personal personal reflection on learning, what it means to him, how it happens and how incredible precious it is.

Learning , delicious and juicy as this orange?

What is learning?

It’s not a package tied with string,
or a machine with precise instructions.
It doesn’t obey rules or masters.
No-one can patent it though many have tried.
It’s never been captured and bottled,
or dissected, defined or delivered.
It has many colours and scents,
many flavours and textures,
it can speak in every language.
And every time people tell a story
and others give their whole selves
to listening, it can happen.
And every time someone asks real questions
and honours unexpected answers
then acts on them, it happens.
It’s out there in the field, waiting for you,
like a juicy red fruit or a pale blue flower, or the raindrop
you can catch in your hand because you watched as it fell.

By Tracey Martin
Published in: The Barefoot Guide to Learning Practices in Organisations and Social Change

The Barefoot Guide Connection is a global and local community of social change leaders and practitioners, from many countries, sharing their diverse practices to deepen and develop approaches and initiatives to contribute to a changing world. They offer a growing collection of freely downloadable Barefoot Guides in a variety of languages.

How would you define learning? What are your favourite stories or quotes? We would love to hear them!

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Many thanks. 


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