Intentional Learning
  • Investigating answers and building awareness without external prompting
  • Pushing forward to gain knowledge, understanding and experience
  • Enhancing our skills and expertise on purpose

HARRINGTON COMMENTARY

We are all learning all the time. There is no question about it. We see something; we experience something; we eat something; we hear something; we read something; and, in the process, we learn. We learn we like this or that; we learn not to try that again; we learn what sort of response we will get; we learn from a mistake; we learn from a success… we learn. We even learn about learning! We might not apply what we learn, or we may even forget the lessons we have been taught, but we are all learning all the time.

The question then becomes how well are we learning? As adults, we have a responsibility to take ownership of our own learning. When we do, we cross into what is known at Funds For Learning as intentional learning.

Intentional Learning
Growth in knowledge, experience and understanding that is self-motivated, done with purpose, with the aim of being used and applied for the benefit of all.

Here are a few questions to consider about your own learning.

  • What have I been learning lately? Is it what I want and/or need?
  • How do I best learn? Do I prefer to read about it? Hear it? See it? Touch it?
  • What types of information am I naturally drawn to or seem to learn effortlessly?
  • When is it easy for me to invest significant time and energy in learning?
  • What types of tasks can I pick up quickly?
  • I feel successful at learning when I can _________________(fill in the blank).

Learning is healthy for us. Not only is it good for our minds and bodies, but it can help us to do better at meeting our commitments and being an effective contributor to the teams on which we serve. Being an intentional learner requires that we each understand more about our own learning styles and preferences, that we seek out the opportunity to learn and to grow, and that we take steps to apply what we are learning into our work and other responsibilities. In doing so, we have the power to positively impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

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Key words and phrases

Strive for understanding; Gather knowledge; Seek wisdom; Build awareness; Discover information; Gain expertise; Become skilled; Find answers

Opposite terms

Muddle; Disarray; Hit-or-miss; Indolent

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