Curiosity and courage: Why we all have to prioritise time for learning
Claudine Blamey, chair of the ICRS and head of sustainability and stewardship at the Crown Estate, on why we all need to make time for learning.
Listening to a radio debate about the introduction of classroom tests for seven year olds, I was struck by a comment from one teacher who said, “There’s a huge difference between passing tests and actual learning.” How true I thought, not just for children, but for us all.
A genuine thirst for knowledge and an inquiring mind are often two of the attributes that mark out leaders, but in my mind they are indispensible for everyone. Where would we be if the only purpose of learning was to pass tests or put on a good show at job interviews?
The reason our species has thrived as it has is largely down to our ability, not just to learn new things, but to apply that learning and then adapt our thinking and behaviour accordingly.
Learning requires vulnerability
While learning requires curiosity, it also requires a degree vulnerability. As the proverb goes, you can’t fill a glass that’s already full, so in the pursuit of knowledge, we first have to have the courage to admit, even if it’s only to ourselves, that there will always be things that we don’t yet know.
Courage is certainly something that many CRS professionals know a thing or two about, which is probably why there is always such an appetite from Institute members for webinars, seminars and indeed any opportunity to come together and share experiences.
Structure & support
The ICRS was founded to provide the structure and support for CRS professionals and those committed to joining the profession, to be brilliant, which is why, learning and continuous professional development are at the very heart of what we do.
The radio debate was timely, because as I listened, I was sat at my kitchen table in the middle of scheduling my own learning time into my diary for the coming week. It’s a practice I committed to many years ago and it is time I defend robustly.
It may sometimes just be catching up on my reading during the morning commute or listening to a webinar as I cook dinner, but I always feel the richer for having invested the time.
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