Our burning issues related to this topic include:
Proficiencies Mask Deficiencies
How to Engage Whole Self in Organizational Setting
How to Help Clients Value Complexity / Not Just Operational Learning
Educating the Homeless
Satisfying the Corporation and Academia

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One of the areas that I think is offering a lot of promise related to this topic is social networking. This is one of the hottest areas of management study and is also leading to a number of tools and strategies to support the relational dimension of work. Organizations are beginning to value social networking as the way things get done, and done creatively. There is also growing emphasis on relational/social learning in adult learning theory and practice--and I think it will be exciting to see how we can build a bridge between what we are learning about how people learn and how they work.

Relational learning and whole person learning are often connected (the more whole/authentic we are relationally, the more meaningful the connection, learning and collaboration). As organizations are relational systems there is a lot of new possibility as the transactional mindset begins to shift from (or at least be complemented by) a relational one.

One of the ways my own practice has been shifting is response to this is that I am not only thinking about the experiential aspects of learning, but the relational. Not just using experience as a stepping stone to cognitive reflection, but valuing the relational experience itself as an important dimension of the learning in and of itself.
As we consider the "whole self" in terms of learning, we must explain why 'whole self learning" is even important in the first place. If a person just wants to learn skills and competenices in order to find a job to pay bills, why is it important to include all other aspects of his/her personality?

One approach to address this basic question is to look at our assumptions. In my view, one assumption is that if people are fully and wholly engaged in their learning, somehow their ultimate results and benefits are greater. But how do we prove that?

One added point. I am also coming to the view that the answers that we seek doesn't come from us, but the learners. Because I am hopeful that if learners are fully and totally engaged to their entire self, then they will have some clarity about learning needs and wants and therefore are empowered to change the way that we educators and trainers act toward them. Is that a benefit of whole person learning? If so, how does that pay their gas bill?

Any thoughts?
Attached is the summary of our "So What/What's Next?" Conversation on Whole Person Learning. Please respond with your additional thoughts and ideas for continuing the conversation.


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