This is the final in my progressive reviews, as I read the book, ” A New Culture of Leanring” by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown.
The last third of this book certainly makes it all come together. However, at a megre 116 pages, it lives up to its own hypothesis that inquiry best starts with an answer that leads to a question.
So let me just summarise the elements of learning as amplified in these last sections of the book. I have decided not to get bogged down in the new media exploration of Brown and Thomas, in order to extrract the underlying principles that should apply to all progressive learning processes.
1. The role of the collective. Collectives change and shift with the changes of the world around them.
2. The development of tacit knowledge. This goes importantly to the problem I began to raise earlier, how does one learn skills that require academic and physical skills eg carpentry or my own profession, physiotherapy? Tacit knowledge, the extrapolation from experience, and the creation of new action and therefore new experience, and therefore new extrapolations, is all important. Real learning must become tacit ie through action and experience.
3. Inquiry. Students learn best when following their passion within a bounded environment. The bounded environment is an answer, withing which a question can be asked, to which answer begets a myriad other questions, questions beget trials, and thus learning becomes a continuous and burgeoning process.
4. Indwelling. When methods of inquiry become so well practiced, they become second nature.
5. Utilise dispositions of all actors in the team.
6. Evaluate the outcomes, value diversity of skills, thrive on change, see learning as fun, live on the edge (innovate, try radical approaches)
7. Collective indwelling. When the collective practices as per point 5 and 6 above, become second nature, collective inquiry becoems secodn nature, with all the productivity for learning that implies.
8. Knowing, making and playing are integrated aspects of vitality in learning.
9. Play is especially important. “It precedes culture, it is who we are.”