Learning is a continuous, collective, life long process.
A lot of vocational learning occurs in our workplaces and in our communities through informal learning which complements our formal (accredited) vocational (VET) learning experiences. Learning can be individual but quite often it involves others in the learning process.
To ensure equity and recognition of existing skills, individuals need mechanisms (such as e-portfolios) to capture their informal individual and group learning experiences. This requires teachers/trainers/educators to shift from being information sources to information mediators and guides, and that learner have effective information and digital literacy skills to access, evaluate and transform information. These skills are best learned in the context of a workplace/community and so learners need to be given the strategies to build their confidence to be life long learners who can seek new knowledge as required (just in time learning).
New knowledge is gained through our workplace and community networks, however, sometimes this new knowledge may cause conflict in our existing networks (ie family or community) as the new knowledge challenges existing knowledge and traditions. Learners need support mechanisms to manage these conflicts.
Learning involves our cognitive minds, our emotions and interaction with society. The changing nature of learning has implications on our education systems through changed pedagogies, funding structures and support mechanisms, however, it is unrealistic to place all of our society's learning only in these places, as we also need to support the learning which naturally occurs in our workplaces, families and societies.
This blog posted is based on some writing I recently read by a colleague which is currently in draft format.