I have read the chapter Arc of Life Learning by Thomas & Brown (2011) a few times since starting this course. When I read it recently, it reminded me of the local photography club I belong to. It is a made up of a group of adults who share a common interest and meet regularly to listen, discuss, share, learn and teach each other about their passion. Most members of the club are motivated to participate and experiment (Thomas & Brown, 2011), just like those mentioned in the chapter because of their passion and desire to learn more.
The club also has virtual spaces for the communication, dissemination and sharing of information. A website includes club news, the history of the club, the calendar of events, competition rules images by members and curated resources on photography. Email is used to remind people of upcoming events, to summarise club meetings for those who were unable to attend and other organisational activities. Recently a members only Facebook group was established where members can continue conversations between meetings by asking each other questions and sharing images, resources and knowledge. Some members are learning how to use Facebook from their peers at the club so that they can participate.
Learning and the transfer of knowledge amongst members occurs through a fusion of resources (Thomas & Brown (2011):
- expert presenters
- club member presentations
- photography competitions with judging/critique
- video tutorials
- books and magazines
- informal conversations
Some members also participate in online photography groups and meetups that are organised online through social media networks such as Meetup, IgersMelbourne, Canon Collective and Facebook groups.
Members are creating something meaningful (Thomas & Brown (2011) and sharing their photography on Instagram, Flickr, 500PX or making photobooks and prints. Members of my local photography range in age, experience and formal education level attained but their passion keeps them “learning, growing, and exploring” (Thomas & Brown (2011, p. 18).
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). Arc-of-Life learning. In A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change (pp. 17-33). Lexington, KY: CreateSpace.