Peter Henschel, shown here addressing the eLearning Forum in March 2001, died last week of a heart attack. I will miss him.
Peter and I first met at TechLearn several years ago. He was trumpetting a favorite theme -- that learning is social and that 80% or more of corporate learning is informal. He put that meme in my head, and it influences my work to this day.
After TechLearn, Peter and I met at the Institute for Research on Learning (where he was executive director). We hoped to coax eLearning vendors to embrace and leverage informal learning -- but our timing was not right.
To get a flavor of Peter's view of the world, read his article in LiNEzine from Fall of last year.
This is a day of rememberance throughout the land. Allow me to commemorate Peter by restating the Institute for Research on Learning's famous seven principles.
2. Knowledge is integrated in the life of communities. When we develop and share values, perspectives, and ways of doing things, we create a community of practice.
3. Learning is an act of participation. The motivation to learn is the desire to participate in a community of practice, to become and remain a member. This is a key dynamic that helps explain the power of apprenticeship and the attendant tools of mentoring and peer coaching.
4. Knowing depends on engagement in practice. We often glean knowledge from observation of, and participation in, many different situations and activities. The depth of our knowing depends, in turn, on the depth of our engagement.
5. Engagement is inseparable from empowerment. We perceive our identities in terms of our ability to contribute and to affect the life of communities in which we are or want to be a part.
6. Failure to learn is often the result of exclusion from participation. Learning requires access and the opportunity to contribute.
7. We are all natural lifelong learners. All of us, no exceptions. Learning is a natural part of being human. We all learn what enables us to participate in the communities of practice of which we wish to be a part.
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