Advancing Personal Learning and Transdisciplinarity for Developing Identity and Community

Advancing Personal Learning and Transdisciplinarity for Developing Identity and Community

Barbara Truman (University of Central Florida, USA) and Jaclyn M. Truman (Columbia International University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9679-0.ch014

Abstract

Personal learning is an idiosyncratic ability built upon metacognition that fosters identity development. When supported with virtual learning using avatars, collaborative virtual environments (CVEs), and combinations of emerging technologies, personal learning advances identity exploration and community development. Virtual participation in groups and events fosters mentoring for community enrichment especially for vulnerable populations such as persons with disabilities, the elderly, and those in need of recovery. Emerging technologies such as extended reality (XR) and the internet of things (IoT) present opportunities to combine physical and virtual world media/interactions useful for improved learning engineering. New expressions of Gemeinschaft and Gesselschaft are possible to co-create the future when empowered stakeholders collaborate to design smart, enabled, blended physical and virtual cities/communities. This chapter explores how concepts from systems thinking, presence research, and transdisciplinarity can advance personal learning and transcend human limitations.
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Background

Practicing the development of habits of mind require embracing personal mastery so that we shape technology more than it shapes our humanity. An essential component of the discipline of personal mastery involves taking the time to focus and reflect on our vision so we can see objectively (Senge, 2006, p. 136). Oelofsen (2012), describes personal learning as how you interact with the experiences you have that involve self-awareness and clarity on how your personal history, past experiences, and personality affect your approach to your work role (p. 295). Social learning is not distinct from personal learning and is often intertwined. Seeing the connections between one’s role and job to others involves interdependence. Lankau and Scandura (2002) refer to this type of personal learning as relational job learning. Another type is personal skill development that leads to improved working relationships based on the acquisition of new abilities and skills (p. 3). Frequently in the workplace, professional development organizations try to capture and emulate scenarios to promote the acquisition of the types of personal learning that cannot be trained. Personal learning is directly related to what constitutes a person’s individuality and identity, i.e., their selfhood.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Personal Mastery: One of the five disciplines created by Peter Senge representing continuous clarifying and deepening of personal vision, focus of energy, development of patience, and seeing reality objectively.

Self: Self with a capital S represents your highest future potential that you can develop based on the research of the Presencing Institute.

Nature: Nature with a capital N is an indivisible, substantial whole of which everything is a part and is interdependent. The term Nature has been neglected in the literature of recent centuries.

Constructionism: A paradigm of teaching and learning that involves building knowledge structures through progressive internalization of actions.

Avatar: An electronic image that represents the embodiment of a person in a virtual world that can be manipulated in appearance, movement, and gesture.

Being: Being with a capital B refers to living as reflected and connected to everything in nature.

Learning Engineering: An effort to combine learning science with engineering to improve the design of environments using multiple media and applications to improve learning outcomes.

Constructivism: A paradigm of teaching and learning that involves how humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas.

Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS): Technology of very small devices made using microfabrication such as microsensors and microactuators that convert a mechanical signal into an electrical signal.

Extended Reality (XR): Current and future virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and other XR technologies for supporting and enhancing learning and human performance in evidence-based and research-grounded ways.

Identity: The distinguishing characteristics that make up a person’s qualities, values, and beliefs.

Complexity: Principle of universal interdependence.

Personal Learning: Idiosyncratic, self-guided, and self-motivated synthesis and mastery of knowledge, skills, and experiences that result in an individual’s growth.

Persona: An individual’s image or personality that makes up a social façade that someone projects to others.

Enactivism: Argues that cognition arises through a dynamic interaction between an acting organism and its environment.

Internet of Things: Networked/embedded physical objects that collect and exchange data across devices, society that make up smart cars, homes, cities, communities, etc.

Cosmodernity: A paradigm that states all entities (existence) in the universe is defined by its relation to all other entities. Concerning education, cosmodernity involves knowledge through a complex, creative, transdisciplinary, polysemous, transcultural, transnational, and transpolitical approach.

Authenticity: Genuine, accurate, true to one’s own character and spirit.

Society: Society with a capital S refers to new forms of technology-enabled, participatory communities that span local and global physical and political boundaries constantly challenging laws, culture, and identity.

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