Boyhood, The Land of Painted Caves and Becoming a Grandfather…

Tom GibbonsChange, Learning, Social ConstructionLeave a Comment

A movie, a book and a role; what do these things have in common?

Well, in this case a good way to launch a series of posts and hopefully discussions about designing learning and change initiatives that are more process oriented and enhance the experience of self management.

The movie, the book and my new role I think are good examples of the role interaction and a ‘social’ perspective can influence our thinking about learning and change design.  They are good examples of social construction at play and we think this perspective is very important in designs that are process oriented and develop the capacity for self management.

The movie Boyhood traces the life of a 6 year old boy for 12 years (using the same actors).  The Land of Painted Caves is the last of Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children series which depicts a somewhat longer amount of time in the lives of early humans during the last Ice Age.  And of course becoming a grandfather is just that, part of the journey of having kids and growing older with them.

In each scenario learning, change and development is a process that has both continuity and novelty, similarity and difference.  Each person is in a continual state of emerging based on the collection of interactions that occurred to that point and the context in which those interactions happened.  No one had ever ‘become’ something that would never change and no one ever morphed into something unrecognizable from their history.  While singular events and interactions were important the accumulation of these was far more so.

This is social construction and also the way learning and change happens.  Our histories have created patterns of behavior that have pretty powerful staying power.  In order to learn and change different ways of being requires a lot of interactions and experiences that are different.  A singular ‘learning event’ is rarely, rarely enough.  And yet this type of a design is still the primary format of trying to create new learning and change.  We make efforts to enhance this design by making sure there are good action plans and follow up correspondence or perhaps even create an action learning design but the fundamental assumption that an event can sustainably change behavior remains.

Over the next few months we will be looking at the following topics and we hope you will join in and make comments and we will see where this might lead us.

  • The Scientific Management of Learning
  • Designing for Self Management
  • Process Learning Design Ideas and Exchange
  • Measuring Process Design

Over the past few years we have been focusing on understanding process design for learning and change and one of the key things we have learned is that this is much more than new techniques and tools.  It is a fundamentally different mindset that can be quite challenging to work with.

We hope you will join us as we investigate further, as we share our learning and experiences together.  It is a process design for learning….

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