How Do You Learn?

Last week I was prepping for fall quarter with a faculty member new to the BAS-AM program. As we talked through Weeks 1-3 of the quarter, we were both struck by how preparation we were doing for what seems like very little “teaching”. By “teaching” I mean the traditional educational format where the instructor is the source of all knowledge and the classroom conversation is uni-directional.

The BAS-AM program by design is the exact opposite of this educational model. In our program, we use an active learning where there are no students but a roomful of learners. Every person is a participant in the instruction contributing their knowledge and experiences. The faculty are there to set up and guide the learning and to enable continually evolving life long learning, a critical feature to flourish in the ever-changing workplace. And active learning is exactly how the workplace operates – I’m hard pressed to think of a single place where 100% of the learning comes from teaching versus doing.

It was so gratifying to read this article discussing research on active learning conducted at Harvard University. The findings suggest that when we are actively engaged in the learning process, we end up having an impactful experience, which is more “sticky”.

As I reflect back on my formal and my informal education, I am quite sure that the more transformative experiences where those where I was able to engage and immerse myself in the process – a player in the match, not a spectator in the stands.

I can’t wait to see how the Class of 2021 rises to the challenge of being on court players – stay tuned for stories of great things from these people!

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