Self Managed Learning

What is Self Managed Learning?

Self Managed Learning (SML) is a unique, research-based and practically proven approach to learning that delivers significant benefits over conventional methods.

Why do we need Self Managed Learning?

We know the world of work is changing and at a far faster rate than has ever been previously experienced and we see that our current schooling systems are failing to prepare our young people to succeed in this environment. We know that making a contribution and having a sense of purpose is important for individuals and therefore society … and we hear that around 75% of people are disengaged from their work and their organisations. We also recognise that work cultures and levels of engagement are heavily influenced by the behaviour of organisational leaders.

From our extensive research on successful senior leaders, we have found that a) they are highly effective learners and b) the most useful learning they have undertaken has little or nothing to do with formal education or training. Our research, and that of many other studies, shows that education (school, college, university) and training courses contribute at most 10-20% of what makes a person effective at work. Other research shows that:

  • Every individual is different in how they learn and what they need to learn.
  • There are at least 89 different ways people can learn – and a course is only one of these.
  • Any change, including organisational change, requires people to learn – no learning, no change.
  • For organisations and individuals to succeed, learning needs to be shared and put into practice.
How is Self Managed Learning different – how will it benefit me?

Through SML people, from age 7 to 70 and beyond, take responsibility for defining and achieving their learning goals. With the support of peers and advisers, they decide how, what and when they want to learn and most fundamentally why the learning is important to them. In this way it is not a ‘one size fits all’ but a truly personalised learning experience. SML is not a selfish or disconnected way of learning as people work with others to support and challenge one another; they create trusting relationships and build social capital for organisations and society.

Where is the evidence that SML works?

SML is founded on research and has been successfully deployed for over 40 years in private, public and academic sectors around the world. For the past 15 years, it has been helping young people learn what they want to learn and become who they want to be. Thousands of people have benefitted by participating in:

  • In-house leadership development programmes for major global corporations
  • Within central/local government departments
  • Consortium programmes for senior leaders across different sectors.
  • Groups, age 8-16, within the Self Managed Learning College, based in Brighton, UK.
  • Academic programmes up to Masters level.
  • Programmes within traditional school settings around the world.