Dec 23 – Shu-Ha-Ri – the learning cycle


Shu-Ha-Ri is a way of thinking about how you learn and teach a new practice, technique or a new way of thinking. The name comes from Japanese martial arts. The learning circle has three stages of the learning; Shu (learn), Ha (break) and Ri (create).

In the first stage Shu, you learn by following the teacher. You imitate the teacher’s practices, values and thinking. You concentrate on how, without worrying too much about the underlying theory. You will only move on to the next stage when you have made the teacher’s practices your own.

In the Ha stage, you break from the teacher’s practices. With the basic practices working you start to learn the underlying principles and theory and how it connects to the practice. You start to learning from other teaches and make modifications based on your own creativity.

In the Ri stage, you leave the teacher and you start creating your own practice and theory. You create and adapt what you have learned based your own particular circumstances.

The idea here is that when teaching a concept, the teacher have to tailor the style of teaching to where the learner is in their understanding. In the beginning focus is on concrete steps and concepts, the focus then shifts over time to understanding principles, values and finally into self-directed innovation.

As you expand your knowledge into new areas, you will loop back to the Shu stage for those areas in an ever-growing spiral of knowledge.

This is my Lean/Agile Advent Calendar. I will publish a short post on a Lean/Agile topic every day up until Christmas. I will based each days topic on what is behind the door in the LEGO® City Advent Calendar.  So be sure to check back every day!

DISCLAIMER: LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this post and blog in any way.


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