5.1 Cycle of Learning
One way to think about this unit is to see it as marking the start of the next phase in your learning. So far in this course, you have gone through the following steps:
- You have “taken stock” of your own learning.
- You have considered what other perspectives and viewpoints have to offer.
- You have used what you have learned to move forward and try something new or different.
This represents a cycle of learning (Figure 5.1). Now that you are reaching the end of Learning to Learn, you are finishing this particular cycle. But we hope that you will see it as only the first of many such sequences of learning.
The close relationships between challenges is a good reminder that one learning experience is not completely separate from another. The more you find out about a topic, the more connections you can see with other topics. This is one of the big thrills of learning: to spot a link that you hadn’t noticed before. Linking things up in this way should be especially exciting on this course as you begin to connect various aspects of your learning and your personal goals for change.
“Reflecting backward” is an important part of learning because it helps you to be clear about what you have learned. Looking back also enables you to hold on to what you have learned after the course finishes. This means that you can “reflect forward” by thinking about what you might do in the future and how this might be different from what you have done in the past.
Both reflecting backward and reflecting forward are important skills in their own right. It can be difficult to make the time to do either consciously or thoroughly. However, you have had a number of opportunities to practice reflection as you have worked through Learning to Learn.