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Innovative Learning Methodologies

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Best of the Best:

Insights from Leading International and Indian Organizations



One of the common myths about initiatives in organizations is that there exist 'best practices' that are neutral and objective and hence can be replicated across organizations. However initiatives in organizations are neither completely neutral nor completely objective, i.e., they are not devoid of the context in which they are introduced and operate. What works well in one organization need not work so well for another organization. An initiative or best practice in an organization works in a given context and an organization's perspectives and beliefs influence what works best for that organization. More often than not, best practices are attempted to be replicated with little or no regard to the context in which they may have worked well. Replication must always bear in mind the context.

This paper showcases the theoretical model on which the innovative learning methodology, for knowledge enhancement, adopted at THIS COMPANY is based and how adoption of such a methodology has worked well for THIS COMPANY given the organization context in which the initiative was introduced and in which it operates today.


Section Topic Page No.

1 Introduction 4

2 Learning - The THIS COMPANY Way 7

- The Theoretical Construct 7

- Innovative Learning Methodologies 8

- Salient Features 9

- Key Success Factors 11

3 Conclusion 13

4 Bibliography 14



An infant falls nearly a thousand times before learning to walk. Adults give up after one or two failures. Despite a sound education, followed by complex experiences in the corporate world, adult's learning capabilities are nowhere compared to children. Hence there are concrete differences in the way a child learns and the way in which adults learn. Such a difference in approach towards learning is best shown by the two models - The pedagogical model and the andragogical model.

The Pedagogical Model

In this model of learners and learning, full responsibility for all decisions about what, how, when and if it has been learned rests with the teacher.

This model assumed that, learners:

A) are dependent personalities

B) have little experience that could serve as a source for learning

C) are willing to learn what they are instructed to learn

D) are subject-centered in their orientation to learning

E) are motivated by external pressures or rewards

The pedagogical learning model has been the prevailing learning model in the education of children since the 19th century. It resides, and flourishes, in the belief that if a child does not learn, then the teacher has failed as a transmitter of knowledge, and provides no recourse against the child for his lack of interest or participation in the learning process. Educators and students remain passive participants in the learning process and rely on the student's total intellectual dependency on the teacher for any acquired learning that he or she receives.

The Andragogical Model

The andragogical model was theorized by Malcolm Knowles in 1990, and was specifically oriented towards the adult learner. The andragogical model proposes that an adult learner first investigates why he or she must undertake the learning task, and assesses the possible positive or negative outcomes associated with learning this body of knowledge. Once this has been accomplished, the adult learner will focus an extreme amount of energy and time into the task of obtaining this knowledge, and be responsible for his or her own decisions with regard to that knowledge. This is primarily because adults possess a deep desire to be recognized as self-disciplined, self-motivated, and independent self-helping individuals.

The andragogical model forms the basis of what we know about how adults learn best, i.e., the principles of adult learning, such as:

a) Adults are autonomous and self directed

b) Adults are goal oriented

c) Adults bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to the classroom

d) Adults need to be able to integrate new ideas with what they already know

e) Adults must see the reason for learning something

f) Adults tend to prefer self-directed and self-designed learning programmes over group learning experiences led by a professional

g) Adults report a need for application and 'how - to' information as the primary motivation for beginning a learning project

h) Adults want their learning to be problem-oriented, personalized and accepting of their need for self direction and personal responsibility

Hence, adults learn differently, and for different reasons, than do children and young adults, and their style is completely antithetic to that of the pedagogical learner. Such an understanding of how adults learn is necessary if learning is to take place in an organization.



The Theoretical Construct

Performance is the function of interaction between the person and the environment. At both the personal as well as environmental level several variables, which impact performance, come into play. The matrix below explains this:



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