Other 21st Century Learning THOUGHT PAPERs

This landing page is designed to highlight thought papers written by academicians and active consultants and coaches who've developed and are using what seems to be Best-Practice learning interventions. Here we'll highlight concepts and ideas that offer you useful insights into the nature and dynamics of Experiential Learning, Transformational Learning, and Learning Partnerships. In each of these three contexts, the concepts and techniques of Focused Attention, Deliberate Practice and Self-Directed Neuroplasticity are of special interest. Where possible, we'll also offer thought papers focused on the "Formal Education + Self-Directed Learning Experiments = Successful Personal and Professional Development" learning equation we're so interested in. 

Experiential Learning



Deliberate Experiential Learning: Mastering the Art of Learning from Experience
David A. Kolb & Bauback Yeganeh

The ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”, might well apply to all of us living today in the rapidly changing and expanding global community. We daily face new challenges and opportunities at work and in our personal lives. At work there are technological innovations, expanding multi- cultural market opportunities and new organizational forms that demand greater personal responsibility and higher quality and productivity. Our personal lives have grown far more complex with increasing responsibility to manage our financial, health and personal affairs. 


Transformational Learning

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How Critical Reflection triggers Transformative Learning
Jack Mezirow

To make ‘meaning’ means to make sense of an experience, we make an interpretation of it. When we subsequently use this interpretation to guide decision-making or action, then making ‘meaning’ becomes ‘learning’. We learn differently when we are learning to perform than when we are learning to understand what is being communicated to us. Reflection enables us to correct distortions in our beliefs and errors in problem-solving. Critical reflection involves a critique of the presuppositions on which our beliefs have been built. Learning may be defined as ‘the process of making a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of an experience, which guides subsequent understanding, appreciation and action’. What we perceive and fail to perceive, and what we think and fail to think are powerfully influenced by habits of expectation that constitute our frame of reference, that is, a set of assuptions that structure the way we interpret our experiences. It 


Self-Directed Learning


Developmental Coaching to Support the Transition to Self-Authorship
Carolyn Coughlin

We have a societal expectation that adults show up at some de ned point on the age spectrum, and we have a sense of what capacities they should have. By adult I mean not a person’s chronological age, the degrees she holds, what work she does, whether she has a life partner or children, or even lives a particularly responsible life. I refer to an adult as someone who doesn’t need others to tell her what to do, has an internal voice, is self-directed, and can navigate across seemingly competing ideas and perspectives without subsuming her own. This de nition has to do with how one knows things and through what lens identity is formed, rather than anything immediately obvious about her, such as appearance, profession, or status.

I have been coaching leaders of different ages for the past 20 years and have gotten very curious about what supports people who are chronologically adult to become


The 21st Century's Learning Equation

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How to Get a Liberal Arts Education (Without Going to University)
Kyle Pearcemay

Even though Liberal Arts degrees typically fall at the bottom of the education hierarchy, I think it’s one of the most valuable educations for the future. Why? Because nobody can predict which job skills will stay in-demand in the future but what we do know we will need lots of people who are flexible, have wide understanding of the world and are excellent communicators.

The Liberal Arts has a bad reputation because it often attracts the slackers who go to University more for the country club atmosphere, the keg parties or because their parents gave them no other option. In computer science, math or sciences you can fall behind very quickly if you don’t do the daily work but in the Liberal Arts many... 



Educate Yourself: 100+ Self-Education Resources for Life-Long Learners
Kyle Pearcemay

In a world where nearly all the world’s information is at our fingertips, the barriers to learning are gone. We are on the cusp of a digital education revolution where traditional schools are being disrupted and unschooling is becoming the new way to thrive.

Today, you can design your own passion-driven learning curriculum and prepare yourself to ride the technological waves that will power the next economic booms. The average person today will have 3-5 careers over the course of their lifetime. Under these circumstances, we must be learning all the time. Under these circumstances, we must be learning all the time.

Fortunately, the Internet is the most powerful tool for learning ever invented. Soon, we will not only have the world wide web, but also new technologies like augmented...