the learning society
The emergence of the idea of the ‘learning organization’ is
wrapped up with notions such as ‘the learning society’. Perhaps the defining
contribution here was made by
Donald Schon. He provided a theoretical framework linking the experience
of living in a situation of an increasing change with the need for learning.
The loss of the stable state means that our society and all
of its institutions are in continuous processes of transformation. We cannot
expect new stable states that will endure for our own lifetimes.
We must learn to understand, guide, influence and manage
these transformations. We must make the capacity for undertaking them
integral to ourselves and to our institutions.
must, in other words, become adept at learning. We must become able not only
to transform our institutions, in response to changing situations and
requirements; we must invent and develop institutions which are ‘learning
systems’, that is to say, systems capable of bringing about their own
continuing transformation. (Schon 1973: 28)