Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Metaphor in learning and development

Have you ever stopped to count the metaphors we use routinely in learning and development and wonder why they come from where they do?

I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that many of them derive from the industrial age, and reflect the activities that people seemed to value in an industrial setting. Thus we speak of workshops and of benchmarking, and use this sort of language so much that many of us will not stop to think that these are, in fact, metaphors and not literal expressions for what we’re doing.

What’s interesting about e-learning is that the metaphors are different, perhaps reflecting our move away from the industrial age to the information or digital age. Thus we have portals, platforms and even passwords. This seems to me a good thing, as instead of dwelling on the past, we are looking ahead, and many of the new metaphors are about rising, or opening up, or reaching for something new. If this encourages a more positive, creative outlook, that has to be of value.

Now just don’t get me into the ball-park of sporting metaphor: I’d hate to sound like I’m not a team player, but everyone wants to hit a home run, right?

1 comment:

Job Descriptions said...

It was too short, but very informative article. Keep up the good work!

Management Consultant Job Description

Blog Archive