Open Future NZ "To understand who you are, ask yourself who's knowledge do you trust?"

Important Learning Occurs in Groups

and is reinforced by language.
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  Creating trusted connections between people, makes new learning and innovation possible.  

The importance of cohorts
You learn on the playing field, where opinions are validated, values tested, beliefs formed and assumptions are challenged.  Apprenticeship is the natural way to learn.  The people you are with provide social validation for you and for your ideas.  By social disapproval, they also provide a mechanism to modify your views when you stray from acceptable guidelines.  Community members must communicate with respect to build trust, intimacy and confidence.  Full dialogue requires the expression of mental models and the voicing of unspoken ideas and doubts. 

Sharing meaning
Shared meaning is the difference between personal knowing and the team understanding essential to get real work done.  To make meaning explicit and ensure alignment, it is essential to test assumptions by conducting open conversations in a whole group setting.  Language has the task of leading the way by cutting through to the field of new possibilities. 

The creation of new knowledge demands firstly understanding of the previous situation.  It's in our interaction with our peers that we gain and affirm that understanding.  We understand when we "see the pattern that connects" to quote Gregory Bateson.  New knowledge requires the introduction of something new, and it's unlikely to come from the same source.  Hence random events, or contact with people from other cultures or traditions, might throw up a challenge that demands seeing the pattern in a different way.

FIRST - Dean Kamen

To motivate the next generation to understand, use and enjoy science and technology.

"I wanted kids to think about how they are going to spend their time and their energy--to think about doing something worthwhile and important with their lives. FIRST was designed to show kids that being creative and solving problems and using the tools of engineering, math, and science are every bit as fun, rewarding, and accessible as playing sports or being on stage."

Inventor Dean Kamen talks about education and the growing problem of kids in the US falling significantly behind in math and science.

Deep learning, identity and dialog
Knowing is an act of participation, knowledge is more a living process than acquisition of an object.  Knowing is closely tied to who we are and emerges in dialog or through copying and practice.  Learning evolves out of the knowledge ecology, it is more about community than content.  Developing knowledge requires personal engagement and the support of a learning community.

The community we come from teaches us who's knowledge is important, and what questions can be asked. The social connection we have with others colours what we choose to do, and out vision of what's worthwhile, and what's interesting.

Boundary hopping and busting prototypes
Through language we have the ability to bring forth a different future.  As linguistic beings, we individually create our reality in language.  Our reality is constructed by our social conversations.  We use language to focus our attention and to raise energy levels so that we can begin new tasks.  It is through language that we are able to shift the reality of the community.


Learning in Action

The group helps us to understand what is important.

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