informal-learning-at-workDr Peter Honey reviewed Paul Matthews’ best seller Informal Learning at Work: How to Boost Performance in Tough Times

“I smiled my way through Paul Matthews’ book and I very much hope it will have more impact than my previous offerings. The continued underutilisation of work-based learning is short-sighted and wasteful. Informal learning opportunities are not only plentiful; they are relatively inexpensive and always timely and relevant.”


A very long time ago, in May 1970 actually, I wrote an article called ‘Stop the courses, I want to get off!’. I had become disenchanted with the futility of running formal courses when evaluations clearly showed that most of the learning was lost as people re-entered the real world of work after a period of time in a classroom. My suggestion was that courses should be banned for a period of at least one year to ‘force’ trainers to find alternative ways to help people improve their performance. I even went so far as to recommend that trainers should receive an electric shock every time the word ‘course’ passed their lips. When the article was published, in Industrial and Commercial Training, I received a number of abusive letters from trainers with a vested interest in maintaining the illusion that courses worked!

Read the full review here