Knowledge creation in higher professional education
How can we translate an ecological worldview into a teaching approach? By learning to think, act and communicate relationally. All trained competencies are about ‘how do I/how do you relate to...?’
Ecology is not about adding a green topic into a curriculum. It is about understanding that everything is connected with everything. You are interdependent with your environment. Your subject-matter is intertwined with the world by its worldview.
So... Not teacher centered Not knowledge centered Not student centered But relationship framed
So... ECOLOGIZE education Education is a context in which relationships are intentionally interacting upon each other in order to stimulate learning and development for all participants.
FIVE LEVELS ECOLOGIZE TEACHING I present a 5-level model of relational teaching approach Each level represents competencies in how you, teacher, can be part of a relational network. Communicate about all relationships in which you and your students are nested!
Level 1: triangulate your communications Teacher communicate his relationship with the subject-matter Teacher collaborate with students Teacher coaches the relationship between students and subject-matter Collaboration Students Teacher Inspiration Learning Subject-matter/knowledge
By contrast: oppositional (instead of triangular) Knowledge Teacher is transmitter Students are receivers
By contrast: teaching without voice Knowledge Students Teacher is coach
By contrast: teacher without voice Subject Selfdirected learning Teacher as facilitator Subgroup Subgroup Subject Subject Subject Subject Colloborative learning amongst students
Relational questions, level 1 Do you express your personal passion and negotiations with your subject-matter to students? What common project do you have with your students? Is how students feel and think about the subject-matter brought into communication? Are students been coached in how the subject-matter affects their personal development? How do you communicate that you are learning as well? How is the subject-matter present? What is your unique voice? What do students bring in?
Level 2: integrating multiplicity (Hubert Hermans: dialogical self) Each participant is a multiple self ! The multiplicity of each participant makes the learning community more alive. Student role I as curious I as naive I as critical I as I am Teacher role I as expert I as facilitator I as coach I as researcher I as I am I as factual/ I as perspective I as incarnated idea I as historical rooted I as related to someones biography I as developmental Learning community circle Knowledge
Are you showing monolithic ‘teacher’ behaviour or a repertoire of different positions?
Are distinct I-positions recognised by the students?
Is ‘knowledge’ differentiated or put into the circle as truth?
Are students accepted in their multiplicity?
Is the multiplicity of the teacher fit for its purpose?
e.g. If you like to co-create, you need to activate a not knowing position.
Training Teachers with I-positions, level 1 & 2 I as program designer I as classroom manager I as cocreator 1 2 8 I as Facilitator I as coach 4 5 7 I as expert I as researcher Students 3 I as I am I as student 6
Relational thinking, level 3: integrating extended self (Hubert Hermans: dialogical self) The dialogicality of all participants creates a complex field of interactions that enhance the possibility of development and creativity. Student role My friends My teacher My life world Teacher role My students My husband My child My university My costumers My context My students My media Learning community circle Knowledge
How is the other (student/teacher/knowledge) represented as an external position in my dialogical self?
What is the constellation of the different positions in the extended self related to each other?
How is learning, researching and the unknown represented in the state of the teacher?
Relational thinking, level 4: integrating external relationships The external relationships helps the learning to be embedded in context. Student Teacher Learning community circle Knowledge Academic community Partner Hobby Childen Friends Parents School Colleagues Student job Parents Siblings Hobby Lover Friends Placement Manuals Universities Internet community (Ken Gergen)
How are all relationships brought into the circle?
Home life of students
Peer relationship, classroom relationships
Home life of teacher
Relationship of teacher with the school
Relationship of teacher with his professional community
Relational thinking, level 5: contextual, holarchy Teacher, students, knowledge and their relationships are ‘nested’ in the development of the larger whole, e.g. the society (e.g.powerrelations, cultural patterns, educational reform, professional identity), development of human civilization, global issues (e.g. Peak oil, financial crisis, migrations, ecology, climate change). Student Teacher Learning community circle Knowledge Academic community Partner Hobby Childen Friends Parents School Colleages Student job Parents Siblings Hobby Loved one Friends Internship Manuals Researchers Internet community (Ken Wilber)
How is the way education is constructed a contribution to the development of societal, ecological and global challenges?
Ecologize : model of nested education Professional community Society/Culture/Global Local community Students Teacher
By contrast Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979) The Ecology of Human Development: Experiments by Nature and Design . Cambridge: Harvard University Press. In those days in pedagogy the child/student was put in the centre. Not completely isolated, but still isolated in the centre.
Ecologize education = teacher + student in the centre of a nested system