"The means is dialogue, the end is learning, the purpose is peace." ~ Founder Dr. Jane Vella

The Capacity to Reflect – Peter Senge on Larger World Learning

Comments

 Who out there thinks about water while you’re thinking about the future of your business? Anyone? At Global Learning Partners I know we don’t. (A good Scotch, maybe, but not water.)In this compelling clip, Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline – a book that put the idea of ‘learning organizations’ on the map – uses the example about the world shortage of water to illustrate a point about how narrowly-focused organizations can be when it comes to strategizing about their futures. Water, for instance, is used in great amounts for making aluminum. And soda (of course) and . . . well, bottled water. What about hospitals? And agriculture. And city management. How many of these entities are talking about water when strategizing about their future success? (Let’s hope the bottled water people . . . ) Senge shares that in order for organizations to truly be open to learning, they need to do three things:

  1. See the larger world picture;
  2. Have the capacity to reflect on that picture; and
  3. Check our assumptions in order to be creative about imagining our organization’s future.

The first one is fairly easy to do – albeit sometimes frightening. We’re used to looking at the big picture and how it might effect our business:  you know, the old SWOT analysis sort of thing. But the second – having the capacity to reflect – isn’t quite as easy and Senge maintains that this is where “fear cramps imagination.” We can name what we see in the world at large, but often what we see is so daunting that we simply don’t have the capacity to make sense of it. This can frighten us, and cause us to hunker back down in our own little organizational worlds; forget about the larger world! But if we can learn to see with fully open and inquisitive minds, and if we know to check all our former assumptions based on the new reality we see before us, we can truly open our creative minds and steer our businesses in a new direction that reflects the world we’re in, and the world we’re entering. Do you and others in your organization have the capacity to reflect? What does that look like and how does it impact your work? Is your organization truly learning?

Leave Comments

“Talking”

Comments

What is talking? Of course the obvious answer is communicating. But that’s only one answer. I remember distinctly, a moment in my twenties when I read something like, People talk to hear themselves talk. I was appalled, what a disrespectful thing to say; it’s taken me many years to know the Truth of this, and many more to come to fully live it. Communication, to me, implies a mutuality, reciprocal giving and receiving. When I am the only one talking (as in this post!), there is no reciprocity. When we are teaching and learning, our capacity to sort out the way in which content is grasped necessitates two-way LEARNING. Thus we are all learners. What I have seen, in myself, and others, is that while we present as though we are listening, it takes an openness of spirit, or heart, to really hear. This is a rare capacity. Ask yourself, how often have you felt truly heard, or seen?* I think it may have been Gloria Steinem that said, “The personal IS the political” and that would be my experience too.** One-way communication is just that- one way, my views, perhaps a “fact” or two thrown in, and if that is all there is time for, regardless of any other intention, I have decided, my view is the only one that is important, valuable. Yet, all this said, there are many other questions to be explored. When a person listens well-enough to appear interested, yet is not truly open to hearing, what is behind that? When I talk, without intention to be changed, what is behind that? What questions or thoughts occur to you? *If you haven’t seen the film, Avatar, you might consider going, it does an excellent job of depicting this concept. http://www.avatarmovie.com/ **For a debate on who actually coined this phrase: http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/pisp.html

Leave Comments

What’s in Your Pockets?

Comments

For the past several years, my husband has been telling our children a continuing story of the time he was two inches tall. The story, which still has not ended, unfolds in his childhood home, and it has taken him from the bathroom sink drain, to rides on a June bug, to close encounters with a pet hermit crab. We never know where he will end up when he finishes an installment of the story. But we always know how he will start. He asks the kids to remember and list what things he had in his pockets when the story last ended. These assets have ranged from a piece of string, to dust from butterfly wings to a piece of pencil eraser. They will shape where the story goes, as he uses his assets to contend with the situations he encounters. This is a good process, and an underused one, for approaching education too. How do we acknowledge, appreciate and use the assets that learners bring with them to the program? I have seen so many educators look for and describe deficits -- what people don't know, can't do -- as the reason for a learning program. The training is solving a problem, and it is a short leap to seeing the learners themselves as problems to be solved. When we look for and describe assets -- what people do know and can do -- we move from problem-solving to "possibility-creating," an idea that is powerfully described in John McKnight and Peter Block's book, The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods.  McKnight and Block describe the exchange of gifts as one of the core abilities of thriving communities. By starting with an acknowledgement and appreciation of what our learners have "in their pockets," we are creating the space for this exchange of diverse gifts in our learning communities.

Guest Contributor Christine Little brings 15 years of experience in international organizational development, working with organizations on managing change and developing learning programs that work across cultures and across complex organizational structures. She has worked directly in 18 countries on five continents developing training, capacity building programs, strategy setting and change management processes at the community, national and international levels. Since being introduced to Dialogue Education™ in 2000, she has applied the principles and practices to the design of curricula, meetings, conferences and planning sessions discovering its relevance across many cultures, and for a variety of organizational processes beyond training. Christine lives in San Jose, Costa Rica with her husband Steve, and her two children, Jordan, 14, and Max, 11.

Leave Comments

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

Comments

Please, run, do not walk, to this podcast sent to me from my dear friend, Dwayne Hodgson. Folks, we live in an emerging world. Let's make enough peace to really enjoy it. Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education

Leave Comments

Collaborative Cyber Education – Expanding the Dialogue Through Open Source Curriculum Creation and S

Comments

I’m fascinated with the revolutionary times in which we live. The idea of online communities and collaborative creative projects (like Wikipedia) are opening a vast new horizon of opportunities for sharing knowledge and learning. Enter into this world Rice University’s Richard Baraniuk, founder of Connexions, a free, open-source, global clearinghouse of course materials. The simple yet revolutionary ideas behind Connexions are these: 

  1. course materials are better when many great minds contribute to them;
  2. learning is enhanced when the learner gets highly customized materials with which he or she can do something;
  3. knowledge is enhanced and has greater impact in the world when it’s shared freely and widely rather than closely protected as intellectual property by corporations;
  4. materials published in traditional book form are too stagnant and controlled – using print-on-demand technologies for course materials allows constant updating and enhancing of content;
  5. re-using and re-purposing existing materials has broad impact around the world (think about open-source translation of any curriculum).

Anyone interested in modern-day cyber-education, text-book publishing, and intellectual property would do well to take some quiet time to watch and reflect on Richard Baraniuk’s TED talk. Richard Baraniuk on Open-Source LearningWhat do you think about the open source revolution? Are you embracing it, resisting it, watching it carefully, ignoring it . . . how has it contributed to your teaching or learning?

Leave Comments

Page 46 of 51 pages ‹ First  < 44 45 46 47 48 >  Last ›