Transforming knowledge into mastery

Niels Pflaeging offers an interpretation of turning data into information into knowledge into mastery:

The first is transforming Data into Information. This is in the domain of “IT“ (not learning). To do this, you don’t need humans, nor are they necessarily involved.

Transforming Information into Knowledge: It is here where things get interesting as Knowledge involves humans and human activity. This “I2K” transformation is the domain of “personal, or individual learning.” Some call this “basic“ learning. Learners or students can practice this kind of learning individually, from home, online etc. When you look up something on Wikipedia, watch a TED video, read a book or article, or search for something on Google, it´s this kind of learning that occurs.

Transforming Knowledge into Mastery is a second way of learning: the domain of “collective learning” so to say. One that requires learners to practice with each other, or to practice together with “masters“ (i.e. someone with mastery). One might say that here, you need at least two learners! This “K2M” transformation can happen in the classroom, “on the job”, by practicing problem-solving, by seeking advice, or indirect online interaction.

It’s the mastery we’re after. Mastery provides us the ability to respond in complexity.

He continues: “While the first kind of learning, ‘I2K’, is sufficient to make sense and to solve known problems, the second kind is key to solving new problems, and to deal effectively with complexity. It is ‘K2M’ learning that is needed for innovation and problem-solving in dynamic markets.”

The implications for learning, he writes:

“Flat” classroom settings, instead of the “sage-on-the-stage” approach and lecturing.

“No PowerPoint, no presentation” – focusing live learning situations and classrooms on dialog, questioning and peer-to-peer exchange and using flip charts and other devices to let the content emerge throughout the interaction.

“Knowledge acquisition ahead” – pre-readings, online learning, and online media complement the presentation setting, ideally ahead of the live learning encounter.

“Reflection on learning” at the end of each cycle, not knowledge testing, knowledge grading, or exams that get in the way of learning.

… and more.

I copied and pasted liberally here so you should read the full article. Also consider buying his book Organizing for Complexity.

Learning about learning

This tweet appeared in my timeline.

It was similar to tweets from Niels in the past that had sent me down a thinking path: Why is learning at work so bad? How can learning at work be better?

So I sent him a tweet and he responded:

The article is great and I’ve started reading Jose Bowen’s Teaching Naked. I enjoyed this video of him discussing Teaching Naked with academics as well: