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A Blog Experiment

I am using software called NVivo. Essentially, I use it to organize and summarize qualitative data. One cool feature is the ability to create a word cloud. I am experimenting with that feature and using the image facility on my laptop. I summarized some World Cafe events we held in February and March. The results were simply outstanding. The only fly in the ointment was I had to scan the picture and lost the colour.

The overarching question we created our conversation around was: “What engages us in learning?

February 4, 2012

Think of a time that you feel was a high point in your learning. This would have been a time you felt most alive, effective, and engaged in the learning process. Describe how you felt. What made this possible?

February 18, 2012

“Without being humble, describe what you value most about yourself. How does this contribute to the experience of learning for you? What setting does this seem to flourish best in? What would attract you to that setting?”

March 3, 2012

What encourages us to continue learning and see learning as important in our lives?

Questions emerged. I thought the most interesting was an absence in the data. What about teacher expertise in subject area or technical knowledge? It could be these are unstated but assumed necessary. Or it could be that the relational aspect, the art of teaching, is so important to this group of people the technical and subject knowledge is secondary.  What do others think about this?

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

4 responses »

  1. What a graphic demonstration of values. Good to see this narrative.

    • David, that is interesting that I did not mention my feelings that values drive or should drive education, but you, thousands of kilometres away, picked up on that. In a highly secular, bureaucratic world, it becomes easy to miss the spiritual and values driven education we need for children and adults. Thank you.

  2. Ivon, when I see the World Cafe events displayed in this format it certainly makes me proud to have been part of it. There is much wisdom in the comments and certainly a huge amount of food for thought!

    • It was and is a worthwhile venture. I think a new conversation is gradually emerging and am grateful to you and others who joined in the first, albeit small, tentative steps.


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