How many times have we heard people who couldn't wait to get out of school and finish learning? How many times have we come across information in school that we felt we would never use again? How many times have we realized that we should have learned some important skills much earlier than the specific life situations that arose in our lives?
Unfortunately, too many times. That is why we want to address a very important topic in this article, a subject that concerns the necessity of sustainable learning development.
Sustainable learning is a philosophy of learning that regards a conscious and constant preoccupation of a person with enhancing own knowledge, skills and personal development. Sustainable learning is not learning about sustainability, it's about learning that lasts.
„Sustainable learning is also more than retained knowledge and skills. It involves ongoing, purposeful, responsive and proactive learning; the learner effectively builds and rebuilds her or his knowledge and skills base as circumstances change.” (Hays&Reinders, 2020)
Sustainable learning is more than lifelong learning. While the latter focuses on developing useful and adaptive skills in a context of a continuously changing world, the former focuses on „conscious and intentional learning in the moment” (Hays, 2017).
Researchers proposed a starting curriculum that can be included in Sustainable Learning and Education which includes topics such as systems thinking, the nature of knowledge and knowing and their limits, and other interesting ones which you can find here.
As we can see, sustainable learning is more about attitude and desire for continuous self-improvement. It is ideal if this attitude is cultivated since childhood. In this way, the future adult will easily foster a concern for self-development, not only for adapting to the environment but for a desire to become better and better and for, why not, a love for learning.
How about sustainable training?
This attitude must be sustained by an appropriate framework of learning. At Talent Collection, we are developing courses, training and workshops built on sustainable learning principles. We offer motivation and tools that a person can apply in their learning process and we create an environment of collaboration and sense of purpose in education.
We also invest in long-term strategies in training programs adapted for each company. There are some key principles that determine sustainability in training and, therefore, sustainability in people development:
Create a strategic L&D plan. One-time workshops and training are good, but their efficacy is seen if they are included in a long-term coherent strategy. Unfortunately, the information from the trainings is lost if it is not put into practice and if it's not upgraded in other learning programs.
Adapt your learning programs to your employees' flexibility. It is important to ensure that employees can dedicate their time and energy to the training. Remote working is a necessity now, global intercultural teams work together more often, and that's why online learning programs can be alternated with face-to-face ones. At Talent Collection most often requests regard online trainings, workshops and teambuildings.
Disseminate and measure the changes. Sustainable learning requires periodic monitoring in order to know if the learning program was efficient if there is a need to deepen a topic and what learning plan can be prepared for the next period. Usually, dissemination is done at the end of the training, but its efficiency rises if this step is repeated after a period of time.
Sustainable learning and training determine a sustainable future for people and organizations. That's why this has to concern every actor in this society. We invite you to a dialogue that can lead to different ways of implementing this concept in your organization and in your life.