Chapter 18 - Manager of Learning

This competency enables the learner to:

The Manager of Learning competency is one of the most complex subjects taught in White Stag. Capturing it as a subject for knowledge and translating that into an ability to teach it requires repeated exposure and practice. Before you can master Manager of Learning, you must also become at a minimum become proficient in evaluation, counseling, and communication. An effective manager of learning blends these competencies together, as illustrated below.

Manager of Learning
The Manager of Learning competency also requires proficiency in evaluation, counseling, and getting and giving information.

In a nutshell, Manager of Learning describes a system for exposing learners to the need to know and involving them in their own learning. It is not only one of the competencies taught in the program, it is a method for leadership development which we embrace as essential to participatory, experiential, leadership development. We generalize this participatory approach in all we do, applying it to the entire program design and implementation, describing it as the Project Approach. (See Follow the White Stag, Chapter 2 - "Program Principles" for a description of these concepts.)

About Manager of Learning

White Stag has some large purposes to accomplish. We are not involved in just getting a learner to light fires or cook or even to learn to live outdoors. Those things are not even mentioned in our aims.

Some of our purposes, though, are for learners to learn to think for themselves, to apply their learning wherever it is applicable—not just at White Stag meetings. We want them to learn to live together in harmony and to be able to pool their learning, whesn necessary, to be able to perform as a group things they cannot do by themselves. Yet as individuals, we encourage learners to strive to reach their greatest potential as people.

Society expects some of our young adults to become leaders, and many youth have lived up to that expectation over the years. It is possible now for even more youth to know how to be leaders.

An Approach to Learning

The learners in this course have been elected as leaders or have shown an interest in learning about leadership. The summer camp experience affords a very short time into which we crunch a lot of information. We need to use a method that manages this process while maximizing our effectiveness.

In White Stag we use the "manager of learning methodology." The word "methodology" means more than a method—a method is a way of doing something—but methodology includes methods, reasons for doing things by those methods, and rules to accomplish some large purpose. It is a design for producing in-depth learning.

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 unusual results.

As a manager of learning, you have a very special and important mission: helping leaders have a lasting, beneficial effect on the lives of their fellow group members, and on the lives of many others. A counselor in White Stag is chosen for his or her ability to act as a instructor and counselor, his or her ability to apply the manager of learning methodology.

Improving Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes

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