I had the privilege of joining a colleague’s graduate class Thursday evening to discuss professional learning, and how we can make the learning we do as adults ever more meaningful.
One of the topics we talked about was the idea of expertise, and bringing in voices of those who know more than we do currently.
I believe I’ve written previously about the power of “experts,” and as I’ve considered some of the work in Berger’s text, I’ve started to wonder if maybe my vision has been clouded by the term “expert,” and I haven’t realized the downside to being an “expert” in any given field as fully as I should.
One of the challenges with considering oneself an “expert” or looking for “experts” in a given area is that the label “expert” in itself assumes that there is no further learning to explore in that field. It basically assumes that a person knows all there is to know, and that growth is neither expected nor needed.
In other words, it is a dead end.
By recognizing our ignorance, and remembering that there is never an end to the learning, we become much better at focusing on building our expertise, rather than attempting to find, or cultivate, experts.
Sure, this is a bit about semantics and word choice, but in all honesty, how we use words often impacts the actions we take.
My takeaway? Welcome expertise without experts, and continue to push all towards constant growth!