The Case for A Learning Framework

The ability to learn is the most important skill of our time. If your life depended on learning a language or a skill—how would you do it? Would you approach the problem of learning with tools you learned in a classroom?

I wouldn't. School never taught me how to learn. School taught me how to obey. As a result, I dropped out of college. I embarked on a journey to learn how to learn.

What is Learning Framework?

I have been constructing a learning framework in order to help me learn. Using this framework I have learned new languages and skills faster and better than ever before.

Before going into the specifics of my framework, I want to first discuss why I think it is important to apply the concept of frameworks to the task of learning.

Why A Framework?

Frameworks are an integral part of software development. Software frameworks are designed to empower developers to create better software faster. Software frameworks give developers a strong foundation on which to build solid solutions.

So how does the concept of a framework apply to learning? The idea is that you create a system (a framework) that can be applied to learning anything. Whether you're learning a new language or a new skill, you can start with a framework and kickstart your learning process.

But How Would That Work?

How can one system be applied to learning completely disparate topics?

Under the current educational model students are taught in the context of a given topic. There is a class for Science, History, Language Arts, Math, etc. But what if we are missing something about the nature of knowledge itself?

What if information doesn't exist in isolated containers as we are taught? What if learning about an atom could teach us about a cell? What if learning about a cell could teach us about a village which could in turn teach us about the evolution of thought? What if the evolution of thought could teach us about the purpose of life itself?

A New Perspective on Learning

These self-similar relationships between disparate topics of study have massive potential to increase our ability to learn. I am not implying that there is a direct one-to-one correlation between the workings of an atom and a cell.

To lay the foundations of my learning framework, I'd like to group the components of learning into three categories: patterns, problem solving, and systems thinking.

Learning is about:

  • Patterns
    • Recognizing and applying patterns from one context to another
  • Problem Solving
    • Defining problems
    • Forming and testing hypotheses
  • Systems Thinking
    • understanding the individual elements of a system
    • underanding how simple elements contribute to complexity when grouped together
    • understanding a system as a whole

Moving Forward

In this article I briefly discussed my reasoning behind creating a learning framework. I've hinted at some of the core principles and concepts behind Holonic, my first attempt at a learning framework.

If you're interested in the idea of a learning framework, I'd love to hear from you.

What Do You Think?

What kind of problems would arise in the process of creating and applying a learning framework? Is it a viable concept? Do you have any ideas that you care to share?