As I was wandering the ROM gift store this weekend, a plaque jumped out: Qui Docet Discit. Ok I have to admit I have a thing for sayings, and being that my Latin is rusty the caption on the shelf helped: Qui Docet Discit-He who teaches, learns. As we have been exploring situated learning and consequently the transfer of knowledge between learning situations the last two weeks in CTL 1608, the plaque reminded me that I have had many situated learning experiences along my professional journey.
After two weeks of back and forth in the course environment I leave the conversation with an understanding that all learning is situated, influenced by the context, and that transfer can be encouraged through inquiry, deeper exploration, and time (those rich authentic tasks we always talk about). As I came to my own understanding of situated learning and the transfer of knowledge and skills one professional learning experience came to mind as what I would wish for in a situated learning experience.
It must have been the fall of 2006 or 2007 and an Additional Qualification course was being offered to explore Instructional Intelligence (based on Barrie Bennett’s work). It would be a three part series providing participants with their specialist in Primary or Junior education so I jumped at the learning opportunity. Looking back now I realize how much that year of learning together has influenced my practice as an educator, from the small instructional tactics I picked up to the understanding of the complexity of teaching. As I think back to my inquiry project on mind mapping and storytelling, I can see the transfer of knowledge from the course environment to my daily practice. Bringing that learning back to the community of adult learners allowed me to see how my transfer of knowledge and skills is not one way but rather an interconnected web that is always UNDER CONSTRUCTION. The greatest gift of the course though was the gift of time. The opportunity to explore, question and engage with people I knew personally and trusted. Most of all though, I don’t think I understood how much I learned from this experience till I facilitated AQs myself. That act of facilitating an adult learning experience allowed me to transfer my knowledge and skills in new ways.
Qui docet discit: As educators it is hard not to learn from the many situations we are immersed in daily. So much of my professional learning journey happened in my daily interactions with students. I taught, I learned. As I search for that ideal professional learning framework, I am reminded that perhaps the greatest learning opportunity is a great community of learners we trust, the time to engage deeply and a learning situation to test it all out in.