‘Raising the Value of Learning’ considers the origination of a new ‘learning currency’, created by the agreement of different players in the ‘learning system’ to give and receive time, recorded in the form of ‘Time to Learn Credits’ (TLCs). It extends the concept of ‘learning’ beyond that of a commodity traded by individuals in the learning marketplace to that of collective ‘social capital’ at the heart of ‘learning communities’.
Why invent learning time credits?
TLCs offer new possibilities in adult learning activities:
Overcoming barriers to participation
- transport tokens – childcare vouchers
Creating incentives for individuals & groups
- materials & equipment
Encouraging intrinsic motivation
- follow interests - own pace- share what you know
Growing collective capacity of learning communities
- learning as shared resource.
All too often what is termed as learning in the community consists of people attending a series of 10/20-week courses. At the end of these courses there is limited evidence of continuance or learning circles being constructed. Some individuals may continue their learning journeys but on a collective level the learning experience often grinds to a halt.
The project recognizes that the learning landscape is made up of four main players:
(individuals, families and communities of learners)
· learning brokers
(agencies and professionals involved in matching learners to learning opportunities)
· learning contractors
(usually known as learning providers such as community, further and higher education involved in contracting paid teachers to deliver informal or formal learning programs to learners)
· learning facilitators
(usually known as tutors, teachers, lecturers or trainers).