From jane vella’s back porch Monday Morning

I had the great joy recently of a dialogue with three young fellows in Sweden who were writing their Master’s Thesis on Education for Sustainability. They have been working with Dwayne Hodgson of Ottowa who is Training Director for THE NATURAL STEP – a sustainability research and education program.  I read their excellent thesis  which they wrote as a team, and was reminded of two words I had once learned, and too soon forgotten: endogenous and exogenous. When energy is endogenous, it comes from within. When energy is exogenous, it comes from outside. I thought a great deal about this and realized that St. Augustine was right when he said, in the fourth century,  “No man teaches another man anything. All we can do is prepare the way for the work of the Spirit of God.” Yassuh! The only learning that really takes, that moves us to transform ourselves into ourSelves, that brings peace and joy –  is that which is endogenous. Which of the four elements of Dialogue Education calls for the use of endogenous energy? The four elements are: The Eight Design Steps, The Principles and Practices, Learning Tasks, Evaluation Indicators. I suggest all of them invite endogenous energy – the learners do, think, analyze, critique, build, synthesize, read, mark, paraphrase – all of Bloom’s wonderful, active verbs.  This action, on content that can be cognitive, affective or psychomotor, is the HOW of learning.  Thank you to my friends in Sweden.

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