Tuesdays with Jane: Week #6

(Tuesdays with Jane is a virtual learning series for those wishing to read or re-read Jane's books and immediately apply their new learning to their workplace. In preparation for this task, read Chapter 5 of Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.)

Safety:  Creating a Safe Environment for Learning

Chapter Five presents a story that shows the importance of safety by describing what happened when it was not effectively used. I expect many readers have identified with elements in this sad story.

I like the summary of six learnings from the errors made in the program:  Adult learning and teaching is political, problem-posing, part of a whole, participative, person-centered and prepared.

I also like the recognition and description of the positive aspects of the program that featured the engagement and honesty of village participants in the dialogue.

Some great lines from Chapter Five:

  • “Adults have shown that they are not only willing but also ready and eager to learn when they feel safe in a learning environment.” p71
  • “We needed some quantum thinking about the whole!” p75
  • “We did not feel safe, as women in an experimental venture, and we projected that feeling onto the program.” p76
  • “The Swahili proverb tells it all: Kupotea njia ndiko kujua njia! ‘By losing the way one learns the way!” p77



As you read this chapter, what other ways of doing a learning needs and resources assessment in that Ethiopian drought situation could have been considered? That is, what else might I have done to get inclusive participation from the learners and the community?

You may also like