Definition: What is learning history?

A learning history is a process that results in a jointly told tale in multiple narratives, with illustrations and reflections on strategies, noticeable results, what happened and why. It gives insight in organizational dynamics, the internal logics on dealing with change. Workshops and training can be part of this process.

A learning history is also a product: a document, or any other form of (multimedia) presentation, to be spread and discussed on a large scale.  A learning history can have the form of an ongoing story, continuously renewed, in the form of a collective journal or learning log, or as a website.

The history is performed by people who were/are involved in the central issue of the history, preferably also external people, like trainers, partners, stakeholders. So, a learning history is not only a product, but primary a process of making sense to (learning) experiences. This is important if one agrees (as I do) with Karl Weick:

"If people want to share meaning, then they need to talk about their shared experience in close proximity to its occurrence and hammer out a common way to encode it and talk about it. They need to see their joint saying about the experience to learn what they jointly think happened".

   

 

I think the term "learning" history is a bit misleading. Like in the "learning" organization, the goal is not to learn, but to become more effective.

 

Anyone who knows a better name: please contact me.