The Start of Some Learning
Climbing Eight Steps
Went to Bristol
with other ﬁne folk
to ﬁnd out what its like to
learn by following the
ELLI 8 step process.
(OK there’s a couple more than 8 in
the picture, but its still a decent picture
so let’s live with it for now.)
And the steps are....
1. Choose a Place or Object
2. Observe and Describe It
3. Generate Questions
4. Uncover Stories
5. Make a Knowledge Map
6. Link This Up With What Is Already Known
7. Line it Up With the Course You are Doing
8. Put it in a Form for the World to See It
So we had to spend some time on our own
wandering around a park called Brandon
Hill, to ﬁnd an item or place which really
meant something to us or made us very
I was thinking about how quickly I had
shared quite personal things with the group
and then I met with Kayte who was also
feeling that the personal nature of this
important ﬁrst step in the project made it
Anyway, I found this Holly bush
which reminded me of a photo I
had taken of my missus a very long
time ago. The light on the Holly
bush leaves was just the same. It
was a very strong memory which I
enjoyed recalling very much so I
thought that this was a great start
to the bit of a learning journey we
were going to take with the 8 steps.
I took this second photo closer in to
concentrate on the leaves themselves
and found myself starting the second
step of observing the leaf. I was
interested in the glossiness of the top
and how it both reﬂected the light and
felt thick and waxy. The bottom was
different: a lighter green and a softer
texture. What was also interesting was
that the younger leaves didn’t have
spikes yet the older ones did. This got
me thinking about my long-term
relationship with my missus and the
ELLI dimension of Resilience. My
missus is extremely Resilient and is no
walk-over so has armed herself over
time, growing up, with some spikes.
As we all do...
Except in a relationship, whether its a
friendship or a good learning
relationship with other people in a
group,when you bother less and less
with the defensive bits over time,
which means that your communication
gets more honest and open and good
news for everyone.
But we don’t usually do
this straight away
and yet the ﬁrst step of the 8 step
process is the most personal!
So as people our natural (and at times
very useful!) defensive spikes, our
waxy coating, might stop us getting the
the best ﬁrst step we could get to make
our learning projects meaningful and
important to us.
Important that we start
thinking and learning
about this then...
Because if we don’t get
to open up to each
other, then we’re a bit
So, if a Holly leaf has its
spines, then what armour do
people use to protect
themselves in everyday life?
One really common way is
by playing roles. Have you
ever seen people (including
yourself) playing the
So if we’ve all got these
parts and protective layers
going on (and we have!)
then how on earth will we
get to talk properly with
each other without it all
being mufﬂed and,
actually, a bit daft?
We need to take some armour
like Queen Elizabeth 1st did to talk to her
troops at Tilbury in 1588. And she opened up
to the crowd saying that she had a “weak and
feeble” body, but everyone there respected
her for her honesty.
Now she kept some armour on (she wasn’t in
her pyjamas!)but the lesson is there for us:
there are times when you really have to
open up a bit more....
And the ﬁrst step of the 8 Step Process,
when you might be discussing why an object
or a place is special to you, is one of
those times where you will miss out if you
aren’t open and honest.
So let’s help each other with this
and make sure that we all get the
And there’s an awful lot more
knowledge out there about our
Its got to be worth
ﬁnding out more about....
1. At school, you hit a block: there’s a task so big and so
complicated, that you can’t do it by yourself. What do you do?
You reach out for help. Ask a colleague to support you. And why
you do this? Because it’s too much for you. You’re overwhelmed.
You’re a Victim (in this case, a victim of the circumstances).
2. Suppose now you’re the other person, the one who is asked for
help. What do you do? You come to the rescue, you help the other
person. Why? Because helping the other person fulfills some
internal desire for recognition and self-esteem. You’re a
3. Now suppose you’re the teacher of the two workers above. You
spot the fact that one of them is asking for help and you don’t
agree with that. You interfere: you forbid to the rescuer to help
and leave the victim alone in finishing that task. You think it’s
“your job as a boss” to do that, but in fact you’re playing a
See what you think of all this after visiting:
Here are some other roles people can over-
act in groups.
1. The Therapist
"The therapist" is a person who tries to get other people to open up,
to express their feelings, to work on their problems--while he does
none of these things.
2. The Defender
This person is afraid and wants to defend other people from all
possible hurt they might feel. Since he feels threatened, he wants to
defend other people from feeling these same threats.
3. The Jester
"The jester" is the group clown. He must avoid any real contact with
people by interjecting some form of humor between himself and
Find out more at:
And what do you think about this?
Everyone plays a number of roles in their
relationships with others. The essence of personality,
according to Raimundo, is the sum of the roles I play.
Dr. John Kenworthy
"And what do you do?"
How many times have you been asked this question? How many
times have you asked it? My guess is more than once or twice.
When answering this question, most people respond with their
job title or their job function:I'm a banker, I'm the CEO, I'm a teacher.
Or they launch into their 'elevator pitch'. We deﬁne
ourselves often by the major role we play in life. And you know that
you are much more than your job: I'm a husband, father, child,
brother, skier, scuba diver, teacher, coach, friend, driver, passenger,
dog-walker, saxophonist, cook ... AmI good at all these? Not all,
and not always. There are days when my golf, for example, is
ﬂuent and near perfect, today was not one of those days.
And what might be relevant for us in this?
Role-Playing and Playing Roles: The Person,
Player, and Persona in Fantasy Role-Playing
Dennis Waskul Minnesota State University, Mankato Matt Lust
Southern Utah University
In fantasy role-playing games, participants collectively create and
play fantasy personas in an imaginary universe by using a vast
system of rules that function as guidelines for make-believe action
and interaction. Consequently, role-playing games obligate
participants to occupy a liminal role located in the boundaries of
persona, player, and person. This study, based on approximately
ninety hours of participant observation and forty inter- views with
thirty role-players, explores how role-players actively negotiate
these symbolic boundaries: how role-players carve out distinct
spheres of meaning between themselves, their fantasy personas,
and status as players of these games. It also illustrates how these
Volume 27, Number 3, 2004
And if you are interested n how we play games
to defend ourselves then you’ve got to find
something out about the original
The Games People Play
Proper stuff worth knowing then...
So remember, we’ve all got armour and it can
be useful stuff, but its really important to take it off
when you’ve got important conversations to be
having. And you can’t
Enjoy your conversations!
Enjoy your learning!