Category Archives: adult learning

Enactivism II. and the Simplicity of Social Cybernetics

EnactivistSymmetryDSC04062

My art produced from photographs and subjected to further manipulation is the kind of art an enactivist might intentionally produce.

Embodied Situated Cognition /Enactivism

[link] Varela and colleagues build on Merleau-Ponty’s work to develop a model of cognition as “embodied action”, a process they call “enactive” (Varela et al., 1991: xx). They concur with the principle above that cognition is embodied and factor in the wider “biological, psychological, and cultural context” (Varela et al., 1991: 173). By emphasizing action they highlight that cognition is an aspect of the sensory body (Varela et al., 1991: xx) and that “knower and known, mind and world, stand in relation to each other through mutual specification or dependent coorigination” (Varela et al., 1991: 150). The enactive approach to cognition “is based on situated, embodied agents” (Varela, 2001: 215) and explicitly rejects representationalism, bypassing the “logical geography of inner versus outer” by understanding cognition as embedded in a total “biological/ psychological, and cultural context” (Varela et al., 1991: 172-173). They conclude that “organism and environment enfold into each other and unfold from one another in the fundamental circularity that is life itself” (Varela et al., 1991: 217).

Varela presents four “fundamental insights” of enactivism which he claims to be “established results” (Varela, 1999: 71). The first fundamental is that the mind is embodied and therefore “[t]he mind is not in the head” (Varela, 1999: 72; authors emphasis) and what we conventionally think of a ‘subject’ and ‘object’ are co-arising. Because the mind is embodied and arises out of “an active handling and coping with the world”, then “whatever you call an object … is entirely dependent on this constant sensory motor handling”. As a result an object is not independently ‘out there’, but “arises because of your activity, so, in fact, you and the object are co-emerging, co-arising” (Varela, 1999: 71-72). The mind “cannot be separated from the entire organism” (Varela, 1999: 73; authors emphasis) or the “outside environment” (Varela, 1999: 74). Varela’s second point focuses on the emergence of complex cognitive processes from much simpler sub-systems. The global process of cognition emerges from a huge number of simple interactions between “neural components and circuits” (Varela, 1999: 76). The relationship between local and global processes creates a “two-way street”; just as simple systems give rise to the complexity of conciousness, so what we consciously think impacts those local components (Varela, 1999: 76). From this stance it is no surprise that Varela introduces intersubjectivity, though he notes that this area is “not well charted yet”. Our everyday assumption – reinforced by older “cognitive and brain science” – is that “a mind belongs inside a brain, and hence that the other’s mind is impenetrable and opaque”. However, he claims that recent research shows “that individuality and intersubjectivity are not in opposition, but necessarily complementary” (Varela, 1999: 79). Varela points to consistent evidence that “all cognitive phenomena are also emotional-affective” and that affect is a “pre-verbal” and “pre-reflective dynamic in self-constitution of the self”. Thus our pre-reflective sense of self is “inseparable from the presence of others” (Varela, 1999: 80-81). Varela’s final point is “far less consensual than the preceding ones” and concerns issues of the philosophy of a “neurophenomenology” that lie beyond the scope of this review (Varela, 1999: 82; authors emphasis).

(Bold my emphasis)

“that individuality and intersubjectivity are not in opposition, but necessarily complementary”

Furthermore: there is the matter of how for example two persons (agents!) might go about exploring the entwined entanglement of their own/each two selves within the multiple orders of the given holistic circularity. I term the graceful and intentional effort to do as much: 3rd order interpersonal social cybernetics.

The 3rd order interpersonal social cybernetics takes time. It is this simple: two people figuring out together how to deeply know one another.

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Teaching Cartoon: Enactivism I.

Peanuts-Enactivism

Enactivism, a combination of Constructivism and Embodied Cognition, is a theory wherein cognition and environment are inseparable, and learning is drawn from the interaction between learner and environment. It is rooted in the phenomenological work of Merleau-Ponty and Bateson’s biological perspective work. Enactivism is underpinned by the thought that actions are not simply a display of understanding, but they are themselves understandings. This makes it possible to observe how humans learn alone and in groups, and how participation in any shared actions contribute to an overall sense of identity. For the enactivist, what is imagined, what is fantasized, what is guessed at, and what is intuited, are understood as being extremely important to meaning making and contributing to knowledge and what is learned. Cognition is an evolving interaction between systems; the cognitive system is a producer of meaning rather than a processor of information, as in constructivism. Learning is not about gaining information; instead, it is seen as an ongoing process of exploration about consciousness, self, context, and interactions of complex systems in order to adapt to the evolving world. Action and mental process are inseparable; action is knowledge. Applied to an educational context, enactivism stresses that reality and mind are interlinked and cannot be separated; as a result, learning should never occur as isolated events in a classroom. Bernier and Busby 510Wiki Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments

(bold emphasis is my own.) Bernier and Busby ‘s definition is succinct. Definitions of enactivism vary. Wikipedia’s initial definition:

Enactivism argues that cognition arises through a dynamic interaction between an acting organism and its environment. It claims that our environment is one which we selectively create through our capacities to interact with the world. “Organisms do not passively receive information from their environments, which they then translate into internal representations. Natural cognitive systems…participate in the generation of meaning …engaging in transformational and not merely informational interactions: they enact a world.”

This is okay, but its use of participate is question-begging. Yet, definitions of enactivism are, by definition, question-begging too, because each definition terminates in a particular evolving interaction. This is hardly a global termination because what enactivism can be said to be is the best explanation given the integrity of the specific action of grasping what it is enactivism. There is here, then, a recursive aspect. (I would suggest there is here a 1st and 2nd order biosemiotic bridge too. The synthesis of enactivism and biosemiotics has yet to be accomplished.)

Biosemiosis, [is the] processes whereby living systems identify and interpret environmental states or events as signs – visual, olfacory, auditive etc. – [and use] them to guide their activities.  (Jesper Hoffmeyer)

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The Embodiment Hypothesis

(a)
“Reason is not disembodied, as the tradition has largely held, but arises from the nature of our brains, bodies, and bodily experience. This is not just the innocuous and obvious claim that we need a body to reason; rather, it is the striking claim that the very structure of reason itself comes from the details of our embodiment. The same neural and cognitive mechanisms that allow us to perceive and move around also create our conceptual systems and modes of reason. Thus, to understand reason we must understand the details of our visual system, our motor system, and the general mechanisms of neural binding. In summary, reason is not, in any way, a transcendent feature of the universe or of disembodied mind. Instead, it is shaped crucially by the peculiarities of our human bodies, by the remarkable details of the neural structure of our brains, and the specifics of our everyday functioning in the world.” (Lakoff & Johnson 1999, Philosophy in the flesh. The embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought)

(b)
As gestalts, image schemas are both internally structured, i.e., made up of very few related parts, and highly flexible. This flexibility becomes manifest in the numerous transformations they undergo in various experiential contexts, all of which are closely related to perceptual (gestalt) principles. (Beate Hampe 2005 Image schemas in Cognitive Linguistics: Introduction)

(c)
The environment is part of the cognitive system. The information flow between mind and world is so dense and continuous that, for scientists studying the nature of cognitive activity, the mind alone is not a meaningful unit of analysis. (Margaret Wilson 2002 Six views of embodied cognition)

Embodied Cognition Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Free Play and the Warm and Fuzzily Utilitarian

Katz-FPS-April26-15-DSC04152

Katz, the greatest junk ball hitter of all time

THE JUNIORS     3  0  4  4  2  7  0  5   x25 
THE KATZ'S      3  1  4  1  1  7  3  4   x24

The Dilemma (opening day 2015, our 25th year begins)

It is the bottom of the sixth and the home team is losing 10-20. I hit a soft grounder up the middle of the infield. Jedi Master Matt was on first base at the time so he took off for the second base. I get to first base. I hear a commotion. A lone voice from the home team plaintively asserts: “He is safe all the way.”

Whereas, from the team in the field, come eruptions disputing the soon-to-be irrelevant opinion, and these eruptions are followed by vigorously argued alternative accounts, accounts which fly up like rubber-band powered airplanes, except the rubber bands have not been wound. These accounts collide and clatter to the ground.

Walt, the first baseman, stands next to me and offers his own view. He steps away from the base path and the legion of visiting players, stuck somewhere between a Greek chorus and a forty year reunion of The Vienna Boy’s Choir, turns toward me and moans a chorus of certitudes spiced with complaint.

Walt turns toward me. “What is your call?”

To myself, briskly, I consider the possibility of the confirmation bias having infected the perceptions of the visitors. I consider the several colliding narratives. I noted for my own part, my own senses were holistically focused on reaching first base. And, anyway, Walt blocked my view.

I regarded the rare facticity of uncertainty and a Bayesian assessment unable to be—no, I didn’t do this. Rather, I appealed to a principle of ethical utility that sometimes comes into play in our free play. A rout was at hand, and yet momentum was maybe to swing for a moment in the direction of the underdogs. A window clamped down all winter could be heard ascending its rusty tracks.

I thought to myself:

It is not a sure thing, but a possible thing, that the see-saw might swing toward competitive equilibrium if I grant amidst an irresolvable conflict that a higher, and grander principle be served. Understanding a close game favors the greatest good for the greatest number, I turned my head away from the protestors and toward the Jedi Master.

“Matt, they report you never even touched the base. Are you touching the base now?”

Yes! He replies.

FreePlaypanorama-April26-2015-DSC04148

Then I call this man safe today!

Basis of moral judgment:
I Moral value resides in external, quasi-physical happenings, in bad acts, or in quasi-physical needs rather than in persons and standards.

Stages of Development:
1. Obedience and punishment.
2. Naively egoistic orientation


Basis of moral judgment:
II Moral value resides in performing good or right roles, in maintaining the conventional order and the expectancies of others.

Stages of Development:
3. Good-boy orientation.
4. Authority and social-order maintaining orientation 25%


Basis of moral judgment:
III Moral value resides in conformity by the self to shared standards, rights, or duties.

Stages of Development:
5. Contractual legalistic orientations
6. Conscience or principle orientation 75%

(Kakkori et al, adapted from Kohlberg, Levine, & Hewer (1981) Leena Kakkori, Rauno Huttunen, Gilligan-Kohlberg Controversy and Preliminary Conclusion)

Free-Play-April-26-2015DSC04159

Fortunately for me, the visitors eked out a one-run win in one extra frame.  . . .smiling faces all around.

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Teaching Cartoon: Situational Awareness

GL-Race

bonus:

The following is from a ConEdison safety publication:

booklets-big

I have use of the information that that which I see, the images, or that which I feel as pain, the prick of a pin, or the ache of a tired muscle.., that all this is neither objective truth nor is it hallucination. There is a combining or marriage between an objectivity that is passive to the outside world and a creative subjectivity, neither pure solipsism nor its opposite. Consider for a moment the phrase, the opposite of solipsism. In solipsism, you are ultimately isolated and alone, isolated by the premise “I make it all up”. But at the other extreme, the opposite of solipsism, you would cease to exist, becom- ing nothing but a metaphoric feather blown by the winds of external “reality”… Somewhere between these two is a region where you are partly blown by the winds of reality and partly an artist creating a composite out of the inner and outer events. (Gregory Bateson, afterword, About Bateson)

Classic paper (really a cornerstone paper of Dr. Weick)
Karl Weick: The Collapse of Sensemaking in Organizations The Mann Gulch Disaster

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Post-conventional predicates

Poct-Conventional-Predicates

A hallmark of sincere and authentic and audacious post-conventionality could be: daring.

This would go along with understanding that the call beyond conventions promotes radical, storming kinds of engagements with one’s own self, with the world, and with other people.

But, the “could be” is my hedging as against the conventions of the theorization of the post-conventional. Affirmative Post-Conventional themes are, in the main, elementally meta-cognitive predicates, and these themes also reflect a kind of instrumental positivism. Some lip service is paid to the varieties of deconstruction, although, there is no deconstructive literature to be found in the field’s small, (and revealingly tidy,) body of work.

The post-conventional move into epiphanic knowledge–which is somewhat covered under the fuzzy rubric given by Ken Wilber’s causal level, the so-called path of sages–is also the move into post Post-Conventional being. The other move is not found in Post-Conventional theory , (or Wilberian theory.) There are no lively treatments of anything functionally equivalent to ecstatic intuition, or equivalent to its applications.

Ecstatic Intuition is: spontaneous development due to spontaneous insight. Its most well-known application is given by the conception of synchronicity in the Analytic Psychology. squareONE’s applications similarly provide concrete enactive engagements with procedures which elevate novel data into the learner’s field for the purpose, instrumentally viewed, of spontaneous decodification and “instant self-discovery”

What I termed twenty years ago, ecstatic organization, shadows and inflects the problem of daring. Another feature of this problem (of daring,) is recovered by extracting the direct polarity: competency <—> ecstatic intuition from the array.

My sense is that the scientism implicit in the meta-cognitive bracket helps secure the means, and the developmental applications, which all aim to build practical post-conventional capabilities.  Whereas, what I term the meta-enactive bracket, (or what might be viewed as the interface, dissolves scientism, is spontaneous and oft spontaneously messy,  and is altogether forcefully disposed toward post developmental, or non developmental, modes of being and being-in-response. Ecstatic organization and ecstatic intuition is impractical, (and may even be anti-fragile per Nassim.)

If you, reader, are able to sense this bracket’s dynamic quotients of: the irrational, of eros, of soulmaking, of Bateson’s conception of mindedness, and, sense also its more direct route away from the neocortex and intentionality, you’ll also recognize I really meant it when I first spoke of daring.

Lastly, the scope of unlearning, of learning to unlearn, is discoverable in the daring foray to be made through the Coincidentia Oppositorum, into the Oppositorum. This means going in the direction away from what you know, how you know it, and, as dear Desse put it many years ago, also means going in the direction away from how you know it is that you know.

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Discovering Novel Approaches

squareone learning

Learning Intention: Suggest ways of contemplating the problem I have with a person who just will not walk their talk.

comment:

First, a Cube-O-Probe casting from the newest Cube Sets, Archetypal #3, Archetypal #4, and Experiential learning #3.

Second, this learning intention isn’t directly my own, I’ve borrowed another person’s challenge and used his challenge to fashion a worthwhile intention. Note the intention precedes the casting of the Cube-O-Probe. It addresses a common enough problem.

Third, Because I’m expert at formulating learning intentions in the context of prospecting for transformative learning, this nicely shaped intention displays the several facets of a well-shaped intention to learn. It doesn’t ask for a solution, it asks for suggestions. It aims at deploying helpful ideas for the sake of exploring better ideas.

Fourth, The pole opposite TRANSITIONAL is HEROIC. (The given opposite of a pairing rendered by a cube is the pole of the pair that cannot be shown at the same time as its opposite. It is on the other side of the cube!)

Alterity is a philosophical and anthropological term meaning “otherness”, strictly being in the sense of the other of two (Latin alter). It is also increasingly being used in media to express something other than the sameness of the imitative, numbing conformity often found in today’s mass media. (…fairly good snap definition, via Wikipedia)

In philosophy, the phenomenological tradition it is usually understood as the entity in contrast to which an identity is constructed, and it implies the ability to distinguish between self and not-self, and consequently to assume the existence of an alternative viewpoint.

serenity-prayer-051

 

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Cubes Upon Cubes

Archetypal-Cubes-3

Values for Archetypal Cubes – set #3 (2 cubes)

archetypal-cubes-4

Values for Archetypal Cubes – set #4 (2 cubes)

The cubes of the Cube-O-Probe are color coded to make it easy to constitute different aggregates from the several sets.

The following is one cube set of dichotomies taken from what I term the Covert Pairs of the experiential learning theory of David A. Kolb.

set of dichotomies taken from what I term the Covert Pairs of the experiential learning theory of David A. Kolb

Tomorrow I’ll use the set to address a situation for learning.

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What Is Your Personal Culture?

culture-contextOne view of the reduction to practice, or to application.

In the fall of 1968 I entered ninth grade. I was, up to ninth grade, a lackadaisical student. What was at the time termed social studies, and english, were my favorite subjects. However, I was dreamy and had not internalized the point of it all. At the same time I had spent a good chunk of 1964-1966 reading/skimming through my family’s 1962 World Book Encyclopedia. All sorts of stuff fascinated me and I was a voracious reader.

Here I am describing experience that began to gather together the elements of my personal culture.  (This was happening in the First Order of my self-constitution, because at the time I knew nothing about culture or intentionality!)

Late in September 1968, the head of the experimental program that had been implemented for ninth graders at Roxboro Junior High, a chain-smoking professorial type named Jim McGuinness–teachers smoked in the classroom in this era–asked me into his office, where also sat an english teacher, Ron Palladino.

The shorter version of this meeting was that Mr. McGuinness requested Mr. Palladino

“Take Stephen under his wing and support in any way Stephen’s quest for knowledge while also helping Stephen organize particular presentations which will verify his learning.”

(His directive to his colleague was something like this.)

Oh, I went to classes too. Yet, the eventual upshot was: ninth grade was my single all-star year in the sweep of my formal education. I aced everything and, moreover, I learned a lot and learned I love learning.

One year later my parents had managed to leverage this stellar performance into my admission to Hawken School, a college preparatory day school. I did well in everything but the two subjects that came to thrash my transcript, spanish and math.

But, with the exception of an art teacher and a cross country coach, I was subject to educative mechanics which neither served: my narcissism, or my intrinsic motivation, or my developing culture. I learned mountains more from reading my way independently through a variety of subjects, until, I came onto my social personality in the counter-culture milieu devised by the affluent sons of the professional class, constituting a hippie tribe at prep school. Mainly, I was bored and turned off by the first institutional fault, no teacher cared to massage my narcissism by taking my wide-ranging fascinations seriously.

I loved learning on my own,  loved learning with customized support, but, I didn’t get school. And I surely didn’t understand that the purpose of schooling is potentially fulfilled when the student gets school. Nor did the fear factor over school performance and adult outcomes introduced into the mix by my professional parents take hold. Nor did either ever ask about or cared to understand my motivations. I arrested my development in one direction yet liberated it in another dimension.

All of these elements are crucial aspects of what is today, at sixty, my own personal culture. In turn, my personal culture reflects how it came to be, and, what are its main and side and untravelled roads.

My own culture soon evoked the independent, wandering, perennial student, and this in turn is the ocean underneath the present-day experimenter, theorist, artist, and, colleague.

As a practitioner, and taking my lead from Jim McGuinness, it is required groundwork, when possible, to learn what are some of the cultural features of the learner. Practitioners carry their own unique culture into the situation of practice, and, every such situation also instantiates the culture of its subjects, those who are the unique individuals come to find themselves in the specific situation.

Where the tips of educator and learner intersect is the point at where the twined reduction of the total genetic systems of experience, learning, knowledge, and personal culture of both persons comes together and, out of these now entangled wellsprings, there is newly constituted a co-creative unique cultural production–so-to-speak.

Slides from my recent presentation at the quarterly EL-COP session.

No matter how complicated the background of practice may be, at the point of application there is a reduction to application-in-situ in the ad-mixture of the now entangled unque cultures of practitioner/client.

In the example of one-on-one practice there would be the point of contact constituting the reduction, and, underneath this contact, are two vast generative oceans of prior experience and learning.

The key question able to excavate personal culture, echoing the pragmatic turn of William James and John Dewey, is: What interests you?

Three schema purloined via google image search that suggest to me vectors for investigating personal culture, and this includes the kind of auto-ethnography a person can do for themselves, about their self.

de-reconstruct-learning

Bell's quadrants

Bell’s quadrants

8 Ways of Aboriginal Learning

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Teaching Cartoon: Accountability

accountability

Mobpsychologist

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Benjamin Franklin

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Spontaneous Relationship “Be-crossed”

squareONE experiential toolmakers

“authenticity cross”

Intention to Learn: Suggest animated entryways to making sense of relationship forsaked.

(The above diagram melds together two transformative learning devices, The Cube-O-Probe, and Playing Opposites.)

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Spontaneous Relationship

spontaneous relationship

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds. Carl Rogers

One cost of my understanding that the most golden opportunity is being with/doing with people, is uncovered when I learn what the other’s perception is of this primary urge of mine. Additionally, I could catalog the rationales for other person’s disinterest, or, otherwise, for someone not wishing to step toward relationship.

Sometimes a person who has rebuffed my offer might wander back to where our two atmospheres and breath-making intersect, and this seems to offer the playing out of a beginning, grief, authenticity.

Writ to the scale of practice, questions about the varieties of relationship remain under-appreciated. Often considerations of relationship are subsumed by regard for communicative elements, yet this can come to filter such considerations, and do so to the point that understanding of communication comes at the expense of understanding relationship.

Carl Rogers: Core Conditions and Education

The definition of a relationship depends not merely upon the skeleton of events which make up the interaction but also upon the way the individuals concerned see and interpret these events. Thus seeing or interpreting can be regarded as the application of a set of propositions about the world or the self for whose validity depends upon the subject’s believe in them. The individuals are partially free to interpret their world according to the premises of the respective character structure, and the freedom to do this is still further increased by the phenomena of selective awareness and by the fact that the perceiving individual plays a part in creating the appropriate sequences of action by contributing his own his own action to the sequence. (Gregory Bateson, Juergen Ruesch, 1951, The Social matrix of Psychiatry)

In stepping back from most bare bones conceptions of relationship, the multiple operational loops of dynamic construal and “intra-enactive” responses come to be revealed. Who are you? It is the most penetrating question possible.

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Surprisingly: Hectic <--> Galumphing (Polarity)

Athena&Kolb

Athena, owl, spear, shield with learning cycle of David A. Kolb

Please join me for my presentation tomorrow at 3:45pm EST. I’ve made some changes in the original description.

Ha! I invented a new experiential learning tool, The Cycle of David A. Kolb’s Cycle. I originally figured I would give it a spin with colleagues and other interested persons at the same time I held down the presenter’s spot in the quarterly meeting of The Experiential Learning Community of Practice. This experiment was placed in the original description.

But, then I recalled I am an ENFP, and a Reflective Learner in Kolbian terms, and, I was able to withdraw the projection that suggested I could turn the self-selecting participants into ad hoc experimental subjects.

Not so fast, buster!

I’ve nevertheless opted for an energetic presentation, yet, I dialed the interactive aspect down so close to the null value that all that will be retained, interactively speaking, will be the discussion in the second half.

(Below are links to pdfs of the slides and the tool itself. These will be public for 72 hours.)

Generating Paradox. Overt and Covert Polarities in David A. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle

Given the theoretical-conceptual architecture of Kolb’s Learning Cycle, fascinating yet obscured conceptual relations subsist within the dynamic move from the organismic systematic theory to its application as a theory-in-use/applied model.

This experiential presentation teases out some of those relations by leveraging both the explicit dialectical relations in the normative model, and co-existing, emergent, yet hidden polar relations discoverable elsewhere near bye.

In this peeling away of layers of the conceptual ‘onion,’ two gains are anticipated: one, the active learner will experience reasons for de-reifying applied aspects of learning style, and, two, the learner may be inspired to expand his or her own experiential learning model’s practical reach.

Expect 45 minutes of presentation and 45 minutes of discussion and comments and questions.

Download Links PDF via box.com:

Slides

for future use:
The Cycle of the Kolb Cycle Tool 

This presentation is designed to be experiential. Participants may maximize the experience by taking notes of what is compelling.

Connect via Adobe Connect Meeting: (please use phone for audio)

Meeting Name: EL CoP Meeting
Summary:
When: 03/12/2015 3:45 PM – 5:30 PM
Time Zone: (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Conference Number(s): 605 475 6006
Participant Code: 142480
To join the meeting:
https://meet54507615.adobeconnect.com/r5pn1fptqz4/

You will need: Adobe Connect Add-On, Direct Download:
https://www.adobe.com/support/connect/downloads-updates.html

Adobe provides a client for iPad on the Apple App Store.

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:
Test your connection: https://meet54507615.adobcom/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htmeconnect.
Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.html

Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat and Adobe Connect are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

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Anchoring Humane and Loving Support of Knowledge Seeking and Sensemaking in the Public Library

Public Library Hierarchy of Care
Public Library Hierarchy of Care – Classes

IN4tuity ventured to a public library client on February 16. For a half day experiential learning program our design leveraged dialogical inquiry and conversational learning in the whole system of the staff to develop a Hierarchy of Care for the library.

My insight starts from the well-known Maslow pyramid:

Maslow

Integrates the Spiral Dynamics in the background of Ken and my appreciative, constructivist, experiential and ‘critically conscious’ (P.Freire) precepts,

Spiral Dynamics Values

and, with Ken guiding my own discoveries, synthesizes the ordered developmental categories given by the liberated astropsychology. (On this, see especially, Calhoun-2015, Glenn Perry)

The staff went to work in interdepartmental teams and identified and dialogued about their concrete experiences and learnings about care. During a group inquiry, the captures were written to the appropriate class in the customized pyramid. We ended up with a very rich, and very subtle, organizational Hierarchy of Care. And, we also added a new proven tool to our kit.

Today I squinted and visualized IN4tuity‘s fundamental thrust: to help anchor the humane and loving support of knowledge-seeking and sensemaking in the ecology of public library-in-its-community.

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Brain and Culture

V.S. Ramachandran (Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and Distinguished Professor with the Psychology Department and Neurosciences Program at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Biology at the Salk Institute)
– lecture begins at 3:10

bonus

Edward O. Wilson (Harvard Univ. Museum of Comparative Zoology Faculty Emeritus Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus)
On the Relation Science and the Humanities – Nine Parts

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Revisualizing the Experiential Learning Cycle of David A. Kolb (I.)

Nested Learning Cycle of Stephen Calhoun (after David A. Kolb)

This remix mashes typological ideas with a meta-schema based in nesting. (See note [A].)

I’ve been pondering the hidden polar dynamics of the learning cycle of my friend, colleague and softball teammate David Kolb. By definition those implicit yet ‘out of sight’ dynamics are anchored by various factors which instantiate or otherwise ramify dialectical, or dichotomous, or sensible polarities, or novel pairings.

These wanderings then approach the schema, of which there is a normative schema that shows the basic layout of pairings, and, as well, by way of exclusion, hides all the others. For example. there would be, in what would be a meta-schema, the crucial polarity of learner |- – – -|environment. This specific relation is dialectical in the broad context given by a, or any, constructivist model.

There’s no reason those hidden relations cannot be pinned to the normative schema. Heck, the views on offer here are of non-normative schemas, and so supplemental pairings may be pinned to these too!

Stephen Calhoun Transformative Learning Cycle

This remix suggests the learning cycle may be negotiated in micro phases. (See note [B])

This is why I have been thinking about this stuff:

Generating Paradox. Overt and Covert Polarities in Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle
Given the theoretical-conceptual architecture of Kolb’s Learning Cycle, fascinating yet obscured conceptual relations subsist within the dynamic move from the organismic systematic theory to its application as a theory-in-use/applied model.
This interactive, experiential presentation teases out some of those relations by leveraging both the explicit dialectical relations in the normative model, and co-existing, emergent, yet hidden polar relations discoverable elsewhere nearbye.
In this peeling away of layers of the conceptual ‘onion,’ two gains are anticipated: one, the active learner will experience reasons for de-reifying applied aspects of learning style, and, two, the learner may be inspired to expand his or her own experiential learning model’s practical reach.
This presentation is designed to be experiential and interactive. Participants may maximize the experience by having at hand five pieces of blank paper, scissors, and a fine marker or bold pen.
Stephen Calhoun is an independent researcher, experiential toolmaker, learning partner of Experience-based Learning Systems, and perpetual student.

Quarterly Virtual Presentation – The Experiential Learning Community of Practice
March 12, 2015 – 4:00pm EST


[Note A] In my model, taken from the Kolb model, Intentionality is necessarily the initial and initializing point of entry into learning. This intention holds Concrete Experience. Its import is imparted by the learner’s appropriation of a motive to learn for his or her own reasons, in his or her own context. This Intention is derived from the learner’s FEEL for what is right for him or her.

My model is in a critical relation with Dr. Kolb’s view. For me, Concrete Experience, is: present sensemaking contextualized by the learner’s motivating, evaluative Feeling.

[Note B] Negotiation in a micro phase means that a learner navigates the entire learning cycle in a background micro operation at different macro phases of the normative learning cycle. One benefit of this suggestion is that it supports a phenomenological entry for intuition into the macro cycle and does so in a particular sense by implying that the entire cycle might be navigated instantaneously, or, alternately, that the cycle might constitute something like a non-linear cascade (a) at this micro phase level.

(a) Patricia Smith Churchland and Paul M. Churchland, “Neural Worlds and Real Worlds,” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3
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Is This Love?

The clear bead at the center changes everything.
There are no edges to my loving now.
I’ve heard it said there’s a window that opens
from one mind to another,
but if there’s no wall, there’s no need
for fitting the window or the latch.
– Rumi, version by Coleman Barks

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The Hand

The-Hand-survey

Page 1 with two of the five questions in the short form H&HAS we’re testng right now.

 

I recommend you take your hand home and take a look at it when you get there — very quietly, almost as part of meditation. And try to catch the difference between seeing it as a base for five parts and seeing it as constructed of a tangle of relationships. Not a tangle, a pattern of the interlocking of relationships that were determinants of its growth. And if you can really manage to see the hand in terms of the epistemology that I am offering you, I think you will find that your hand is much more recognizably beautiful as a product of relationships than as a composition of countable parts. In other words, I am suggesting to you, first, that language is very deceiving, and, second, that if you begin even without much knowledge to adventure into what it would be like to look at the world with a biological epistemology, you will come into contact with the concepts that the biologists don’t look at. You will meet with beauty and ugliness. These may be real components in the world that you as a living creature live in.

…Of course natural history can be taught as a dead subject. I know that, but I believe also that perhaps the monstrous atomistic pathology at the individual level, the national level, and the international level — the pathology of wrong thinking in which we all live — can only in the end be corrected by an enormous discovery of those relations in nature that make up the beauty of nature. Gregory Bateson

This is a deceptive juxtaposition. In noting as much, I would guess almost all my given juxtapositions have an element of deception concealed in my secret intention!

plus, bonus:

Our apelike ancestors’ hands were surprisingly like ours, say scientists

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Something Like a Scout

Calhoun-Educator-Role-Profile

I finally took the Kolb Educator Role Profile.

This result, schematically presented above, is fuzzily right inasmuch as the  KERP is able to capture some of the qualities of me–who in the normative sense of the term educator is not an educator–yet, is an educator-of-a-sort. What kind of sort?

This raises the question of how to get at the term for my sort. Perhaps, it’s best to ask the subjects of  whatever it is that qualifies and names what I do. I do aid experience-based transformative learning. Yet, there isn’t a clear educator’s role in what I do, except, the learning relationship is certainly educative.

Here’s my Kolb LSi 4.0 “kite.” (My own sense is that it presents–something like–my genre of experiential learning style because as a visual and musical experimenter the kites which would correspond to those contexts would look radically different.)

Calhoun-LSI-kite

In my one-on-one learning collaborations, I’m an intuitive, experienced re-worker.

Mindfulness exploits the fact that two key points of leverage in managing the unexpected are expectations and categories. People who persistently rework their categories and refine them, differentiate them, update them, and replace them notice more and catch unexpected events earlier in their development. That is the essence of mindfulness. – Karl Weick

Where is mindfulness located in the Experiential Learning Cycle of David A. Kolb?

Kolb-Model

David A. Kolb’s experiential learning cycle helps me channel my introspective sense of my role:

feelandwatchwatchingandthinkandwatchandfeelandwatchandthinkanddo

In the literature and movies of the American Frontier the scout is usually depicted as a roughly clad eccentric who leaves the safety of the settlement and reappears unpredictably, bringing a mixture of firsthand reports, rumors, and warnings about the wilderness ahead—together with a tantalizing collection of plant specimens, animal skins, and rock samples, not all of which are fool’s gold. At first the settlers find the scout’s help indispensable; but once their community begins to consolidate he becomes a figure of fun; and finally, after respectability has set in, he is a positive embarrassment. Yet their premature respectability is vulnerable. When the settlement is struck by drought, the scout’s nature lore leads the settlers to hidden springs of underground water, but once the crisis is past, respectability reemerges, and the scout is ridden out to the town line.Within the world of the American behavioral sciences, Gregory Bateson has always had the scout’s ambiguous status.

The Charm of the Scout Philosopher of science Stephen Toulmin reviewing Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity (Gregory Bateson) in The New York Review of Books, 1980 – also included in Rigor & Imagination: Essays from the Legacy of Gregory Bateson

It occurs to me my clearest educator’s role is instantiated as the central aspect of my self-education. Ironically, the KERP captures my autodidactic approach.

(I dislike the term coach.) I’m a bit of a guide and a scout. I told Ken, “I’m sort of a Virgil-like figure.”

Sort of a hybrid?

virgil-dante

 

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Dream Remix: The Dive

Nasruddin-Dream

Week before last I had a marvelous dream. It was the first dream about my being in the Community of Practice of Experiential Learning practitioners. In the dream, several colleagues were personified as dream characters. The dream seemed to wrestle on my behalf with some fairly charged psychological aspects of my involvement over the past year and a half.

Because of the concrete personifications, I can’t offer as I usually do the unfettered dream. I have come up with an alternative that doesn’t replay the dream as much as recontextualize and remix it while versioning it as a tale about the wise fool of Middle Eastern folklore, Nasruddin. There was no donkey in the actual dream.

***

The Dive

Nasruddin had been asked to present his “Theory of Yin & Yang” to a group of eager students.

Nasruddin, standing in front of the group, waits for the cue to begin his presentation. But, something is wrong. His donkey has not arrived with important books and materials.

A student raises her hand, and interrupts to tell Nasruddin:

“Sir, we’ve already been talking about this because your donkey was last seen walking around the reflective pool by the museum.”

Nasruddin asks her, “Did the donkey have the books?”

“Yes, the donkey had the books. But, I know the donkey will be late too because she got half way around the pond, stopped, and dove right in and made a bee line toward pure experience.

NAsruddin is taken back and starts to feel confused. But, at that moment, the donkey walks in, dry, and happy to see Nasruddin.

The donkey walks up to Nasruddin.

He leans over and whispers to the donkey “Did you really dive in?”

The donkey shakes her head, “No.”

Nasruddin asks her, “Do you have the books?”

The donkey whispers back, “What books?”

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