Preparing the Ecosystem

Shaping a Strong Learning Culture

A positive learning culture is developed through an intentional focus on shaping the culture in the first place. To achieve this, there needs to be an evaluation of the existing culture with the learners of the institution or school. This evaluation should help to highlight whether there is a natural predisposition to learn that is evident in the learners either individually or collectively. Given the strength with which cultures (either positive or negative) can embed within a group of children or teenagers, it is important to shape the desired culture of learning in highly deliberate ways.

The existing individual perspectives, attitudes and experiences of the student community will have a strong influence on the learning culture. The ability of individual students to understand the concept of personal values, together with some clarity around their purpose for learning and a vision of their own future, underpins any collective culture. Understanding that a culture of learning can (and should) be grown and shaped is central to creating the right dynamics for deep, passionate, purpose-inspired learning. In a self-directed context, the learning culture places responsibility on the learners to shape their own learning purposes. The role of the learning guide is to assist this process through mentorship and facilitation.

In the global society where young people are exposed to and influenced by media-oriented western culture, the challenge is to create a learning culture that is equal to or stronger than other existing influencing cultures; a culture that aims to inspire individuals to recognise learning as a positive cultural influence and include it as part of their lifelong journey. Culture and vision therefore need to be shaped so that they become as attractive as other presenting cultures for any individual.