It has often been argued that the context of learning is extremely important for the way a person can retain information and synthesise it for the purposes of creating new meaning.
That is, the classroom may be a beneficial context for some types of learning or learners. However, the workplace or other non-formal learning situations may provide other advantages for learners or particular kinds of learning. Whilst context is certainly a useful factor to consider in how learning can be facilitated, I would like to argue in this talk that it is not the only, nor the most important, one. Care, which can be seen both as a quality of the learner and of the “teacher”, is integral to the way that learners approach the tasks of achievement and accomplishment.
In addition, the notion of contemplation, allowing a learner to reflect on and analyse the elements of the learning, is equally vital for a learner’s development. Importantly, it may be the way that the three Cs fit together that affords the learner the most promising (or the most devastating) opportunities for reaching his or her potential.
I will draw on research conducted in museums, classrooms, and home environments (often with children) in addition to workplaces to illuminate some ways of thinking about learning that may be helpful for adults in work situations and elsewhere.