How important is a culture of learning at an organization? Does a supportive culture of learning help to prepare highly competent healthcare professionals? Stinson et al (2006) explores these questions and offers twelve tips to encourage a culture of learning. The TLC has synthesized these twelve tips, see below for our 6 key takeaways.
1. Prioritize and protect time for professional development
The field of medicine as well as graduate healthcare education is in a constant state of change and evolution; to keep pace, this should encourage a personal commitment to invest in yourself and commit to becoming a lifelong learner. We need to prioritize this time to our own development as well as protect it from competing demands for our time.
2. Energize active learning and develop self-aware students
The authors recommend developing and nurturing a learning culture that includes reflective teaching practices and learning strategies, such as peer-group discussion and journaling activities. By building in reflective exercises, our students can develop the skills necessary to become self-aware and open to feedback and correction.
3. Create a culture where students learn from mistakes and value new ideas
Creating a culture of openness and trust is vital if educators want their students’ errors or mistakes to be seen as opportunities to learn. An environment that encourages students to be open-minded and invites others to share their own ideas is crucial for students to hear and consider diverse perspectives. Challenge students working in teams to try new methods and acknowledge errors made and lessons learned.
4. Develop teamwork and leadership skills, while creating a shared team vision
Unless you work for a company of one, chances are good that you will work on a team project at some point in your career. Therefore, team learning is vital to the learning environment and skills related to teamwork should be valued and developed. In order to delve deeper into the individual team roles, such as leadership, consider creating a shared (or understood) vision as it provides the focus and energy for learning.
5. Think about and leverage the organization’s resources
Consider the whole-picture and think about how you can leverage the connections, opportunities, and resources the organization offers to benefit your team or department.
6. Reset and refresh
Take time for yourself, unplug and reset. It is in this time period that we give ourselves time to reflect on what we have accomplished during our day. Taking opportunities to unplug and disengage from the day-to-day work also gives you the space to digest, sort, and make sense of the new information and ideas encountered during the day.
Interested in reading the article?
Stinson, L., Pearson, D., & Lucas, B. (2006). Developing a learning culture: twelve tips for individuals, teams and organizations. Medical Teacher, 28(4), 309–312.