Co-Sensing The Fields

- The Second and Third Week of Theory U!

Posted by Mattias Axell on October 3, 2015

What have I Done Today?

  • Finished week 2 of Theory U.
  • Almost finished Week 3 of Theory U.
  • Went to my team mate Kristoffer’s boat and had a great talk and dinner. Boat-life is the great life.
  • Watched the last part of All Watched Over by The Loving Machines of Grace called “The Monkey in the Machine or the Machine in the Monkey”
"There's a big, thick book called The Authoritarian Personality that came out of many years of research. But, as a sideline, we also were very concerned about what was going on in the US. We had our own version of horrific behavior in discovering what was going on in the South with the slaves. Theoretically, no more slavery but practically, segregation was very operational..."

What Tools have I Used?

  • Deep Listening
  • E-mail
  • Sensing
"... And some of what led eventually to the marches and some of the serious conflicts that happened in the US, that was another force that was bringing social scientists, particularly Kurt Lewin, or Levine, the German social psychologist. I was very enamored of his experiments where he showed that an authoritarian classroom could be just as productive as a democratic classroom..."

How do I Feel today? How do I Feel about the Project Today?

  • I feel quite alright after all the love that was shared yesterday. I was a little surprised that some expected the event to only romanticize love, that is rarely the only aspect of love!

  • I feel that I am gaining more and more out of the Theory U online course by getting to know the different toóls and frameworks provided. However I could gain a lot from participating in a so-called Coaching Circle where people work on case studies.

What Surprised Me?

  • It surprised me to hear Ed Schein tell about the results coming out of the experiment of Kurt Lewin’s classroom experiments did not get more attention and implementation throughout the world. That an authoritarian classroom as the majority of classrooms are today fall apart completely are not surprising since the lack of democracy and element of entrepreneurial leadership is missing. That kind of classroom is not regenerative at all.
"... But if you took the teachers out, the authoritarian classroom fell apart. They stopped doing anything. The democratically run classroom, the kids had learned how to manage themselves, and they continued to learn together. Now it turns out, you know, that was an experiment done in the '40s and '50s, but consider how significant that experiment is in the context with self-adminstering groups who have to learn their own routines. Which, the evidence would say, you better not start them in autocratic way because they have to learn from the beginning how to manage their own learning process. The fact that democratically self-run classrooms can function seems to me is the important finding that makes MOOCs and what you're doing even possible..."

What has Changed?

  • My view on mey experiences from being in completeley authoritarian classrooms growing up. It might be an easy answer but I can very much recognize how classrooms became completely chaotic whenever authority was missing i.e. the teacher not being physically present or the teacher lacking an authoritative leadership style. This was quite common or at least showed itself in glimpses quite often.
  • The thought on creating entrepreneurial and democratic processes in my project that encourages initiative and responsibility. As I see every space being a space for learning I also understand that the spaces I lead and facilitate requires to become learning spaces.

What are the Next Action Steps?

  • Finishing 3rd Week of Theory U.
  • Backtracking and archiving my project so far - what should have been done last week
  • Narrowing down my schools of thought, approaches and tools for my Learning Design.
  • Writing e-mails to send out a second batch for potential project collaborations.
"... We have abandoned, in a serious way, the notion that the teacher must specify the process and run the classroom. I think that was the first experiment that showed that maybe the teacher has to start it, but classrooms can function on their own if they have been democratically run, rather than the teacher telling them moment by moment what to do." - Edgar Schein, MIT Photographs by The Commons.