Thinking for learning

Today and tomorrow Jo Bowden, former Agape UK staff member and now educational specialist, teaches us to think for learning. Mmm, sounds complicated.
The idea behind it has something to do with this old saying about giving someone a fish, or learning him to fish himself. New generations need to be self-learning, to be able to learn to learn instead of to be taught. Peter Senge states that in these days ‘people are challenged to act with greater autonomy, draw their own conclusions, to lead as well as follow, to question difficult issues in a safe manner and to risk failure, to build capabilities for future successes’, and therefore educational concepts need to be drastically different. Quite an important topic for Agapè, considering the fact that much of our ministry consists of training – internally as well as externally.

Here are Senge’s 5 key disciplines on organizational learning:
– Personal mastery – a coherent image of your personal vision
– Shared vision – focus on a mutual purpose, nourish a sense of commitment
– Mental models – the discipline of reflection and enquiry skills, awareness of the perceptions of others and yourself, define current reality, talk safely and productively about uncomfortable subjects
– Team learning – group interaction, dialogue and skilful discussion, collective learning energies
– Systems thinking – learning to better understand interdependency and change, deal more effectively with forces that shape consequences of actions.

I had some trouble with the last bullet (systems thinking), because in my humble opinion, 21st century man does not believe in systems anymore. When discussing this, it occurred to me that Senge does not talk about mechanical systems, but rather biological systems. And that makes a lot more sense!

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