Every fortnight (two weeks) our editor sends along a few links with the most noteworthy quote from each article, a way of keeping our team abreast of what’s going on in the world around peer-learning, collective learning and knowledge sharing. We decided to share them alongside the magazine.
You can read them here or subscribe to the Tinyletter and get them straight to your inbox.
The fundamental principle of organizational design at the Japanese companies I have studied is redundancy—the conscious overlapping of company information, business activities, and managerial responsibilities. To Western managers, the term “redundancy,” with its connotations of unnecessary duplication and waste, may sound unappealing. And yet, building a redundant organization is the first step in managing the knowledge-creating company.
Redundancy is important because it encourages frequent dialogue and communication. This helps create a “common cognitive ground” among employees and thus facilitates the transfer of tacit knowledge. Since members of the organization share overlapping information, they can sense what others are struggling to articulate. Redundancy also spreads new explicit knowledge through the organization so it can be internalized by employees.
Different Intelligences. Here one assumes that all human beings have the same set of intelligences, but that individuals differ in which of the intelligences are stronger, and thus presumably constitute privileged ways of mastering educational materials. And so, when taking a course in history or in mathematics, some learners gain from a linguistic approach, others from a spatial approach, still others from a logical or bodily or inter-personal approach. On this version of personalization, one would teach individuals using methods consistent with their intellectual profiles. The profiles could be inferred from personal testimony, observations by parents or teachers, or simple computer-presented measurements.
Also covers single learning paths, favoured content and different learning styles.
How Would Today’s Smartest Teens Overhaul Education? We Asked Them (And don’t miss the illustrations!)
Finally, we landed on our biggest question: What is the purpose of all this learning, anyway? Their answer: education should “make people confident in their ability to learn anything.”
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck calls this a “growth mindset.” In her words, this is “the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems.” A student with a growth mindset understands her intelligence is only partially determined by genetics—there are always actions she can take to build new proficiencies that contribute to a rich intellectual life.
Practice reflection works like this: Prior to each session, one member of the group goes through a “Question Finding Process” that involves identifying and distilling the essence of a work-related question that he or she finds personally compelling. The individual presents that carefully crafted question to the group, which then spends a substantial amount of time thinking deeply about a work-related question that has been identified and brought to the group by one of its own.
In line with previous research on social networks, I show that knowledge sharing might be beneficial not only for the overall organisation, but also for individuals occupying idiosyncratic positions in the intra-organizational network. In particular, the more professionals span across social divides and connect unconnected others, the more they are likely to detect non-redundant, valuable knowledge.
“CLIC is yet another illustration of the importance of facilitating cross-departmental interactions,” says Provost David Harris. “Departments continue to be critical units for creating and disseminating knowledge and for educating and training students. But it is also clear that advances in many areas are more likely to occur when people with a range of perspectives and skills come together.”
More thinly linked to learning than usual but interesting to show the breath of settings in which peer learning can help.
The new report on megacities and climate change was prepared in collaboration with engineering firm ARUP. The report collates data from the 80 megacities in the C40 network to demonstrate how peer-to-peer learning has generated a robust, locally driven response to climate change.