Seth Godin had a post recently where he made the distinction between education and learning. The way he differentiated the two was that education is based in compliance and authority–you were able to memorize information or perform in an approved manner in order to pass a test measuring your mastery of content on a certain day.
Learning, by his definition, is part of an ongoing process.
Learning that embraces doing. The doing of speaking up, reviewing and be reviewed. The learning of relevant projects and peer engagement. Learning and doing together, at the same time, each producing the other.
While there is some degree of compliance and submission to authority associated with training in arts disciplines, (some to a greater degree than others), there is a large component of practical doing involved as well.
In the process, one gains many of the tools and skills required for evaluation. Whether one uses those tools to reinforce compliance and authority or to enact self-reflective change is another matter.
It occurred to me that there is some irony to the fact that skillsets that are a result of education with little practical content is frequently more highly valued than an education that has a high degree of practice.
Basically, a person who graduates with a dance degree likely has a lot more experience in real life application of their skills than a graduate with an accounting degree, but which is valued more?
Certainly, not all practical experience is valued, regardless of how good you are at it. Even the best shepherd in the world is going to have a difficult time finding a job in the US.
What Godin says is needed is engaging in the boring, methodical work of self-assessment, data analysis, etc that helps you learn about yourself and what works.
Of course, there is always something we don’t know so we do need to get instruction from somewhere. But there is no seminar or workshop that will provide all the magical answers, it will just point you to the place to start asking questions.