Advancing the Theory and Practice of Self-Determined Learning
I just love those ‘Ah, Ah,’ moments that come right out of the blue and hit you straight between the cerebral lobes. It is, of course, exactly what we’ve been saying in the heutagogical literature about deep or ‘real’ learning. It’s also a creative act-the subject of our recent online discussion on #myheutagogy. It’s when connections between neurons occurs-the perfect cerebral storm.
So, there I was, minding my own business (except for some areas of my brain it appears) after conducting a workshop in Sydney on leadership for a corporate client. Being one to try and walk the talk the workshop had been run on heutagogical lines, as I’ve described in a few blogs and articles over the past few years. That is, it was learner centred and focused on the contexts and problems/issues of the learners. So, we start with making things in Play Dough and talking, and away we go.
Sure, we have a map but the compass can mean we can take any route and still not get lost. To this end, and consistent with my view of heutagogy, I provided a manual with a number of resources that I had discussed with the manager of the group beforehand. Mainly designed around perceived needs and things that are pretty standard in leadership. The manual is designed around the maturity of the group, as is most curricula.
My ‘Ah, Ah,’ moment occurred when I realised I had the process the wrong way round and needed flipping. The manual needs to be written afterwards and based on what came up in the group. The manual has to be written anyway, unless you’re the kind of person that thinks that learners are all the same and can just pluck content from the shelf. So, it’s not as if there is extra effort.
This is in line with the flipped classroom and flipped assessment. It is learner focused. More importantly it takes the focus from content delivery to process. It means being able to explore-everyone brings a laptop or other device to access the internet. The facilitator takes along a laptop full of resources such as videos. A printer is needed for quickly running off articles. And the facilitator cannot rely on the PowerPoint cheat sheet-you have to be on your game and know your stuff. A bit like a coach, a learning leader, rather than provider.
Can’t wait to try this approach in my next workshop.
I really like your idea of the ‘flipped manual’, Stewart. When I worked as a professional trainer my favourite PowerPoint slide was just a blank interactive text box (the kind you can write to while the slide is being displayed). So the text on such slide(s) emerges from what is discussed during the training session and can be distributed afterwards, as you suggest.