The Emphasis is on Learning
A Manager of Learning is not simply a teacher. Teaching connotes
activities too typically requiring a lecture hall and a large number
of desks. The phrase manager of learning is carefully chosen. The emphasis
is on learning, not on what the instructor teaches. Your
job, as a manager of learning, is to help the participants to become
more effective leaders.
Managers of learning are different from "teachers" or "instructors." They
know that people learn as individuals, not as a class or group. They
know each individual is important; therefore, each individual leader
must learn or all will receive an inferior program. Whoever accepts the
responsibility for managing learning must use unusual techniques to get
A Learning Discovery Process
The Manager of Learning (MOL, aka, "Effective Teaching") competency
is more complex than most leadership competencies. In a nutshell, Manager
of Learning (MOL) describes a system
for exposing learners to the need to know and involving them in their
own learning. We choose to continue to name the competency Manager of
Learning rather than Effective Teaching because we believe the focus
is always on the participants' learning, not the teacher's teaching.
Manager of Learning has four steps:
Improving Attitudes, Skills, and Knowledge
By learning, we mean the gaining of knowledge,
the improvement of skills, or the development of attitudes in
a certain area. Sometimes this is abbreviated to "KSA." Attitudes are
obviously more important than skills or knowledge— after all,
what is the barber going to do with that razor?— it might be
better to turn it around to ASK! And it happens that asking,
rather than telling, is perhaps the main difference between a teacher
and a manager of learning.
We ask, because maybe the learner already
knows. Maybe they know but haven't realized that it applies in this
situation. Or maybe they don't know they don't know. So we ask him,
first. This asking comprises the first of the four steps of manager
of learning, the Guided Discovery. A combination of attitudes, skills,
and knowledge are usually needed to operate successfully in any specific
Attitudes are the most important and are the most difficult to
acquire. Often a new attitude must replace an old attitude before skills
or knowledge can be used. The manager of learning must be able to detect
this situation and know how to effect the change. Counselling techniques
are often used to enable a learner to see a need for change— a
change in his attitude— and accept the help you or members of
his patrol or others can give him.
However, the Manager of Learning process is not
lock-step but at the learner's own pace of discovery. It is a heuristic
learning process, because learning is:
- Open ended. Not confined to one "right way".
- Cyclical— new learning is based on old
MOL is not only one of the competencies taught
in Junior Leader Training, it is a method for leadership development
which is essential to participatory leadership development. We not
only teach a competency called Manager of Learning, but we should be
applying its principles in everything we do during the learning program.
For More Information
There are many parts to becoming an effective
manager of learning. Here are a few articles to help you get started.
||Newly published in 2016. Learn about the basic eleven leadership competencies every teen needs. Order the book Team Leadership Skills for Teens. Buy it now—only $9.99. Copyright 2008 Brian Phelps. All Rights Reserved. Brief passages may be quoted for reviews or commentary.
Learn more about leadership. Find out which phase is right for you or apply for camp today.