So much of informal and, I would argue, interesting professional learning is, in contrast, focused on ongoing understanding or mastery, as defined by Sara Lewis, in her book, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery (p. 7):
Mastery requires endurance. Mastery, a word we don’t use often, is not the equivalent of what we might consider its cognate – perfectionism – an inhuman aim motivated by a concern with how others view us. Mastery is also not the same as success – an event-based victory based on a peak point, a punctuated moment in time. Mastery is not merely a commitment to a goal, but to a curved-line, constant pursuit.
While life and work often center on specific deliverables, it’s often recognized that these deliverables are never really done. We “complete” them, but we know we’ll need to revisit them whenever we gain new information, acquire new technologies or add new people or other resources to the project.
Similarly with out-of-work passions or hobbies that we love. Part of why we love them is because we can never really master them.
Purpose, the reason why we want to keep on doing something, is built in to pursuits we may never master: learning a language, playing an instrument, painting, coding, running, cooking, baking, and on and on and on.
How can we get school learning to map to real-world, passion-filled, lifelong mastery learning?