Book Review – ‘Self Managed Learning in Action’

smlinactionEdited by Ben Bennett, Ian Cunningham, Graham Dawes: (2000 – Gower, Aldershot – ISBN 0-566-08214-4)

Members of the Centre’s Network will already know a lot about Self Managed Learning. However, you will be surprised how much this book will add to your knowledge.

The book is divided into four sections:

  • Setting the scene
  • Putting it into practice
  • Making Self Managed Learning work
  • Conclusions

It contains some very interesting case studies from companies that have actually used the process, including extensive quotes from actual participants, which gives an excellent flavour and cross section of views. It is easy to read, although well grounded in research and covers many aspects of learning.

It includes sections on learning issues, Qualification Programmes, Continuing Professional Development, experiences of SML from abroad, Senior Management Development as well as SML in different types of organisations.

One section in the “Looking to the future” chapter that particularly interested me, as someone who has gained immeasurably from SML, is “why SML is not universally used”. The 13 answers provided some good insights into the problems and the harsh realities of learning in organisations.

This book is of value to anyone interested in learning and development, as it provides a framework for “learning how to learn”, an essential skill for the 21st Century.