Readdressing Situational Leadership in the New World Order through Technology

Readdressing Situational Leadership in the New World Order through Technology

Mariana I. Vergara Esquivel (Teachers College Columbia University, USA), Barbara Wallace (Teachers College Columbia University, USA), Xiaoxue Du (Teachers College Columbia University, USA), Clare Parks (Teachers College Columbia University, USA), Yi-Hui Chang (Teachers College Columbia University, USA), Aurora Brito (Teachers College Columbia University, USA), Fung Ling Ong (Teachers College Columbia University, USA), Lyle Yorks (Teachers College Columbia University, USA), Victoria Marsick (Teachers College Columbia University, USA), Edmund W. Gordon (Teachers College Columbia University, USA), Adam Mac Quarrie (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway), Carl D. Brustad Tjernstad (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway), Jingyi Dong (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway), Ingunn Hagen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway), Marit Honerød Hoveid (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway), Andrew J. K. McInnis (Washington and Jefferson College, USA), Daniel Williams (University of Massachusetts, USA), Mariana I. Tamariz (Rutgers University, USA), David Lauri Pla (Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain), Julia A. Morales-Abbud (New York University, USA) and Yvonne Dennis (Nitchen, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1049-9.ch039
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Abstract

E-learning provides a unique opportunity to reach people across the globe in the most remote locations, such as the Indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest, the focus of our work. We take into consideration teams as learners within the technological context of Mindfulness into Action (MIA) e-learning platform to build upon relationships for sustainability of cultural Indigenous knowledge. The MIA platform goes beyond traditional paradigms and includes the support of Talent Jungle, a program that believes in everyone's uniqueness. Imparting knowledge is not the privilege of professionals, a westernized worldview, but is an inherent right of everyone. The Indigenous people of the Amazon have much to contribute to the western worldview by way of Indigenous natural medicine within their knowledge. Here we are readdressing situational leadership by reconceptualizing leadership skills development in a methodology that emphasizes the importance of social exchange without leaders or followers through technology educational space. By using media to facilitate interdisciplinary research in various fields, MIA is using Indigenous knowledge to take action to protect in the Amazon rainforest. The idea of using Indigenous knowledge is not new. The work of Bates, Chiba, Kube, and Nakashima (2009) states that Indigenous people have a broad knowledge of how to live sustainably. In her work of western-lead teams of researchers, Louise Grenier (1998) found that their development efforts usually fail to attain their objective because they did not take in account local technologies, local systems of knowledge, and the local environment. In order to address this situation, in this chapter we are suggesting to include Indigenous practices in training future research students.
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Introduction

To meet the demands of the current marketplace, higher educational programs are providing increasing numbers of distant e-learning courses. With direct competitors seeking to acquire market share within the e-learning segment, many if not all higher education institutions are now offering online degree programs through e-learning. E-learning provides a unique opportunity to reach people across the globe including Indigenous peoples in the most remote locations.

Our research focuses on the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest and their ability to provide e-learning opportunities to share their teachings with students across the globe. Through the functionality and accessibility of e-learning, Indigenous peoples are able to participate in teaching and learning to accommodate this hidden market of adult-learners. Indigenous populations, such as those of the Amazon rainforest, make up part of what Marshal McLuam (1989) refers to as the “global village.” By offering convenient online courses, institutions of learning may find opportunities to increase their own competitiveness by collaborating with Indigenous populations and our team to create a network platform for e-learning courses and classes. Doing so is not meant to privilege capitalism, though it seems highly likely that such a collaboration could support aspects of capitalism that may enhance the Indigenous peoples’ lives; however, the main focus is to include Indigenous peoples in the technological progress that the world wide web offers within the e-learning marketplace.

At the same time, if we take into consideration the concept of teams as learners, the Indigenous peoples around the world and specifically for our purposes here, those of the Amazon, have much to contribute to the western world by way of Indigenous natural medicine knowledge. In this way, teaching and learning within the paradigm of e-learning is transactional of information between parties, or teams. However, by facilitating the MIA e-learning platform is a skills transfer within a team-based learning environment built upon relationships for sustainability of cultural indigenous knowledge and additional learning acquired through e-learning.

According to Kasl, Marsick and Dechant (1997) organizational literature values team learning “but doesn’t provide a research-based definition” (p. 227). Team learning as defined by Kasl et al., (1997) “is a process through which a group creates knowledge for its members, for itself as a system, and for others” (p. 229). Working together with Indigenous peoples is likely to transform members both individually and collectively by learning.

The MIA e-learning platform has the potential to be the innovative catalyst for transformative learning through team based learning. According to Wenger (1998), “learning is a social process that occurs when people utilize their relationships to engage in meaningful experiences which are negotiated and shared to create a common understanding” as cited by Koissaba (2014, p. 4). In this spirit, e-learning that encompasses a team-learning model (Kasl et al., 1997) and utilizes collaborative relationships between participants around the world and Indigenous peoples builds bridges between people wherever their global location. The learning transaction must allow for a social process that is respectful of Indigenous knowledge and that is collaborative, conscious and equitable. Reflection with action, or praxis (Freire, 1970) is a step in this direction.

Key Terms in this Chapter

International Development: Complex concept that includes social, economic, political, legal and environmental dimensions to classify the development of a country.

Transformational Learning: An educational approach that seeks to target the assumptions and mental models of the individual with the end goal of producing a richer and transformational learning experience.

Natural Medicine: An approach to medicine that emphasizes health through natural based avenues, such as the use of herbs and meditation.

Team Development: A series of stages that team members experience through the progression of their team exposure that ultimately results in the increased effectiveness of the team.

Human Behavior: A series of actions to include mental, physical, emotional and social, that are associated with the human race.

Ecotourism: Tourism with the goal of supporting conservation of the environment, people and culture.

Sustainability: Capacity to endure and how biological systems remain diverse and productive indefinitely.

Goal Achievement: The practice of establishing a goal and attaining it.

Action Learning: A continuous problem solving methodology that involves action and reflection upon the outcomes to improve the process.

Technology: The application of scientific knowledge toward an applied purpose or goal.

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