David A. Kolb, Patricia J. Jensen, and Ann C. Baker have published an excellent abstract about their recent book Conversational Learning. (Editor of the abstract: Yoshi Takeda.) The book is important. When you think about it, any dialogical exchange brings together the kinds of difference and interaction between personal fields which can evoke learning through the experience of an assimilation and accomodation of those differences. Conversation, dialogue, is an important feature of squareONE’s dyadic and small group work.
John Dicus offers The Fourth Piece of the Puzzle @Cornerstone Associates. If it provides a gloss to some extent, Dicus does get into some intriguing details; for example, ‘ Whole-System Experiential Learning gives meaning to unused ideas, making it possible to reject some outright and to implement others.’ The conception of unused might also include hidden or heretofore unconscious ideas, so this comment gets at a crucial concept.
Scott Forbes offers Krishnamurti’s Insights into Education: Education as a Religious Activity. He makes explicit in this fine article a different view on ‘unused’ knowing,
Throughout the ages sages have warned us that we can’t see what is true even when it is presented to us because that which is true isn’t what we expect or want to hear.
Obviously this describes the problem of: not wanting to use knowing.
The function of education, then, is to help you from childhood not to imitate anybody, but to be yourself all the time. So freedom lies…in understanding what you are from moment to moment. You see, you are not [normally] educated for this; your education encourages you to become something or other.
In short, who a person really is, is not what many persons wish to learn about or see or is knowledge the person wants to use.
A Prelude to the Manifesto for Education in the Age of Technology by Robin Martin December 1997 The first half of this manifesto is an attempt to come to terms with some of the not-so-positive trends emerging within technology and society, with a focus on education in particular. Then, in the second half, I’ve attempted to begin to integrate critical ideas on technology and human responsibility (as reflected in works such as Net Future by Steven Talbott) into my broader, hopeful, & spiritual views of the world, and my evolving views of what it means to be an “Inspired Teacher.” In some ways, I realize there may seem to be a disconnectedness between the two halves of the Manifesto; however, I think it will take the process of writing a whole book for me to come to terms with the harmony between these two views of the world, as now I only “see in a mirror only dimly” (Corintheans 2: 13).
Also, in some ways, I’ve been rather vague, I realize. I am hoping that as Inspired Teachers who happen upon this site begin to correspond with me and engage in dialog, we will have the opportunity to revise and expand the Manifesto, as well as adding co-authors over the course of time. If the very beginning of the Manifesto feels like it has a political edge that never gets fully developed, it is because, in case you didn’t notice, the first two paragraphs are structured based on the Communist Manifesto. I just thought that was kind of a fun & somewhat appropriate thing to do. On the one hand, Communism, as first explained to the world in Marx; Engel’s world-famous Manifesto, has had such a POWERFUL impact on the 20th century, and I think some of the spiritual ideas with which I and others are only beginning to tinker will have an equally profound impact on the 21st century. On the other hand, unlike the external/political focus of communism, the Spirit that we as Inspired Teachers wish to tap into begins with changes in how we think; perceive the world. That in turn, I believe, will lead to what Paulo Friere calls Praxis: reflection in action, and there is indeed a political dimension to that…(ah, but that’s another paper too.)
This is the full prelude, allowing on to dive into Martin’s thought provoking, A Spiritual Manifesto f or Education in the Age of Technology.
In my trolling for items of interest, I happened upon a terrific resource, the web site of Yannis Karaliotas. He’s an explorer and scholar with very similar affinities to my own. His paper, “The Element of Play in Learning” is among the many keepers at his site. The subtitle to the paper is “The Role of Synergetic Playful Environments in the Implementation of Open and Distance Learning”. Yup.