A Conversational Framework for Self-Organised Learning: Modelling Personal Meaning for Effective Action in the World
Sheila Harri-Augstein (Centre for the Study of Human Learning (CSHL), Oxford, UK) and Laurie Thomas (Centre for the Study of Human Learning (CSHL), Oxford, UK)
Copyright: © 2008
People learn by making sense of the world for themselves, thereby constructing personal meaning. Effective learners are aware of how they do this and can actively organize this process for themselves. They engage in a reflective conversational process called Self-Organised-Learning (SOL). In Western Cultures the education system inhibits SOL because it is founded on the outmoded belief that all knowledge is objective and that learners are expected to absorb what is given. Teachers and trainers are expected to treat learners as ‘objects’ to be manipulated and they are prevented from developing their capacity to learn. They become ‘other-organized-learners’ and often suffer from life-long learning pathologies, which constrain their growth. This chapter describes conversational techniques for supporting SOL, plus the science and philosophy behind them. The techniques are practiced within a Learning Conversation Methodology designed to empower individual, team, and organizational growth, and have been proven effective in many educational and commercial situations. Fundamental changes and a paradigm shift is essential in education policy to enable many more to become life-long Self-Organized-Learners and through their effective activities transform our cultures. SOL empowers personal skill, competence and creativity and is of value in tutoring, coaching, team learning, e-learning, and distance learning. SOL has implications for teacher training, management development, and organizational learning.