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Transforming learning through dialogue and participation

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 12 August 2008



Transforming learning through dialogue and participation
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 98
Posted DateTuesday 12 August 2008 19:56 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

I recently came across this interview with Peter Taylor, research fellow and leader of the Participation, Power and Social Change Team of the Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex). I love his ideas though that is hardly surprising given my own interest in the role of dialogue and participation in the transmission of knowledge. Here are a couple of quotes from the interview.
My reason for wanting to see an integration of citizenship, sustainable development or multiculturalism in the curricula of universities is to enable people to learn in a way that is different from simply being passive recipients of preformed ideas. For me, education is about learning and learning is about change. So where we see the need for social change, for human and social development, which really is rooted in issues of rights, power and voice of people, then I think it is absolutely necessary for higher education to actually build the curricula upon these issues, not just to add them but actually to integrate them and use them as foundations for learning and teaching.
A lot of educative curricula, especially in higher education, are still based on the idea of transmission of knowledge. In fact it is what Paulo Freire called “banking”, and it is still very common that university teachers provide information, that is to say, the idea of transferring knowledge from the expert to the passive recipient. For transformative education to take place there really needs to be a much more experiential form of learning, for people to actually engage in processes of change, to try things out from themselves, to address real world problems, and to realize that not all solutions can be found easily. And it’s when you start to ask the hard questions and grapple with some intractable problems that you begin, perhaps, to open up opportunities to learn in a different way.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
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