John Dewey, famously said ‘We learn not from experience but from reflecting on experience.’ In my experience, he’s right. We don’t learn much from books and lectures – we learn by doing, putting knowledge into practice, testing out ideas and then reflecting on what happens.
Spiglanin argues formal learning is valuable when we are new to things, we need to know the what and the how to. The more we learn about something, the less likely we are to benefit from formal teaching sessions. The more expert we are, the more likely we are to formulate specific questions; and we look to those with greater experience for possible answers.
The School for Health and Care Radicals provides a unique opportunity to learn from experiences and reflections of others – many of them experts in their fields – while giving us the skills and confidence to try out new things, reflect on how they work out in our own lives and share those reflections with others. The School encourages us to learn new things in new ways, so that we can shape our own futures as well as the future of the growing community of people committed to bringing about transformative change in health and social care.