What do you want to learn?

Calling on makers, designers, healers, dancers, musicians, poets, writers, inventors, entrepreneurs, activists, anarchists, filmmakers, philosophers, students, artists,  and slow learning geniuses.

I’m looking for a few brilliant and creative people who are interested in joining me in this adventure I call Slow Learning. The following is a list of some of the possible actions we might create together. Look it over. What calls to you?

To respond, use the comment box or email me patricia@playthink.com.
1. Join a community of learners. Meet regularly with other people who are on a self-styled learning path. Discuss. Support. Question.

2. Create individual learning plans. This is a plan you would create with support from an individual or team. Your learning plan is a flexible document that includes goals, focuses, deadlines, timelines, incentives. Updates regularly with a coach, mentor or other witness.

3. Attend workshops, retreats, and intensives. Determined by interest of the group. May be led by other learners or hired  from outside. May or may not be open to the public. May be didactic and specific, or may use group processes such as Open Space Technology.

4. Learn and work in real-world settings with support: mentoring, shadowing, and apprenticeships. Finding and maintaining relationships with expert practitioners in areas of interest. Breaking and entering into the insider network of established communities of practice. May be paid for directly, brokered by a coach, bartered, or gifted.

5. Engage in learning exchanges: Bartering arrangements made within the Slow Learning community. Example: I teach you how to knit, in exchange, you teach me how to use Photoshop. Or I coach you on your public speaking and, in exchange, you fix my bike tire.

6. Give or receive learning gifts: Offers or requests for learning/ teaching with no expectation for return. Example: I edit your drafts because I want to. Or I update your Wiki because I know more than you do.

7. Set goals, refine goals, support for accountability: Part of your learning plan Revisited often.

8. Refine your social networking: The real kind, with meaningful exchanges and face-to-face meetings. More than FB friends and Linked-in acquaintences.

9. Learn about yourself: Enneagrams, dream work, expressive arts, healing circles, divination. Who am I, anyway? What’s so special about me? What’s my purpose/calling in life? What is my most important work?

10. Coach and receive coaching: one-on-one listening and learning from a committed, disinterested (not your bff) listener. Somebody who can offer you some tough love (call you on your shit) from time to time. Offer the same for someone else in the community.

11. Create alternative forms of accredation/ initiation/ certification.

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6 thoughts on “What do you want to learn?

  1. Oh my…how exciting! So much material to read! I look forward to delving into this! Thanks Patricia! I love the idea of individual learning plans and many of the other ideas…like numbers 3-6…a lot of thought obviously went into this – it is well developed – I would love to participate! 🙂 -Elisa

    p.s. – not exactly sure of how I interact with your website/this forum..do I have to login or be part of it somehow??? 🙂

    1. AND, on a selfish note, I’ve found that when I teach something, I learn more deeply than if I’m just learning something for myself. In fact, when I’m teaching something I have to engage all my senses, expand my capacity for empathy, connect to layers of context I would never willingly do otherwise.

      http://www.intechopen.com/articles/show/title/learning-by-teaching-in-engineering-a-step-beyond-learning-by-doing

      http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Resources/articles.php?page=learning

  2. One of the main distinctions from traditional learning is the lack of a hierarchy (institutional heads -> professors/teachers -> students). If any hint of this hierarchy creeps in, then we risk imitating those traditional institutions. For this reason, I think everyone should take ownership of all roles from the outset, i.e. (in addition to fulfilling the management role by making our own curricula) everyone identifies themselves as both a teacher and a student, equally. So instead of just an individual learning plan, we would all come up with a teaching plan as well, which could include both things we already know and can teach others (and approaches for teaching or plans for preparing to teach those things) and things we would like to research so we can share our findings with others.

    A strong community of people who are both teachers and learners would surely be irresistible!

  3. Empathy…putting something (even something which is not in and of itself very much about human beings) in the context of a human audience with whom you are trying to connect…I can definitely see how that might give you access to otherwise hidden layers.

    I’m imagining also (not having done much teaching myself) that when you teach something you are forced to take all those scattered bits of information and structure them into a narrative. And although you’ve heard plenty of other people’s narratives that were constructed out of the same material, this one is your own, it reflects your own understanding. And (stories being the oldest of mnemonic devices) the narrative you create allows you to carry with you your own insight into the subject matter long after you’ve stopped actively thinking about it.

    Perhaps it’s the experience of your Butoh workshop that makes me think of it this way…stories and dance scores (maps of stories), the powerful feeling of inevitabilty that comes from performing a dance that tells a story.

  4. Always listen what is inside you. Then you can start right now. I want to share an experience: 16 years ago, being a teacher i closed the frontdoor of my house and picked up a pepple, jumped in the car, drove to the school and sat in a circle with my nurse students. Put the pepple in the middle and invited them to pick up the pepple (told them this pepple was very old and wise, heard many stories… ) and share their experinces they had during their practical period in nursing homes.
    One student picked up the pepple, hold it a while and said, ‘i don’t know why i picked up this pepple, but now i hold it, it starts to become warm in my hands. It is like holding the old people in the nursing home, they too become warm when i held them……
    Teaching is being touched, thus thaught….

  5. 5. Engage in learning exchanges: … Or I coach you on your public speaking and, in exchange, you fix my bike tire.
    I can see the learning exchange in the first part but you have to change the second part in : in exchange, you teach me how to fix my bike tire.
    I can do that… 😉

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