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World Cafe Event #2 – February 18, 2012

The World Cafe Event continued to explore: “What engages us in learning? Underlying questions presented during the second event were “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?” I struggled with the questions. They focused on the learner to the exclusion of the teacher. Is this possible? As I sat quietly Saturday morning, an answer emerged. We treat learning and teaching as mutually exclusive of one another. With fresh eyes, I saw them as two sides of the same coin, shaped from paradox.

We might argue this is an eastern philosophic view to join the two together, but western cultures also have deep, continuing traditions of the intertwined nature of learning and teaching. Mentor-protege, master craftsman-apprentice, and adult-child relationships reveal examples. In learning conversations, we should embrace the relational nature of learning and teaching; therefore, they will stand in unison.

A second question about the conversation was the reluctance we have to speak of ourselves in positive ways. One group dealt with this using a relational mirror. In the course of conversation, a trusted person described another individual. Innovative teachers dealing with unusual and challenging educational environments use a similar process. Teachers ask students to list valued qualities of each person in the classroom, copy them, and distribute the lists. Years later, former students at reunions pull the tattered lists from wallets and purses to recall what had been said about them by others that otherwise long-forgotten day. The teacher would also learn about the gifts and challenges each child brought to school with them through this activity.

A Summary of World Cafe Event February 18, 2012 of the table conversations are uploaded in the form of  a MS Word document.

Kathy used her camera to capture the energy from the posters  in a PDF format at World Cafe Table Posters. They take a moment to upload and you may have to rotate them.

About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Paradox of Community « Teacher as Transformer

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