Barriers to a LC environment

Instructional Strategies – ADLT 603 – Post 8

Barriers to a LC environment

It’s clear there are many barriers to implementing a learner-centered learning environment including how much power to give to learners, learner readiness, cultural influences, the pressure to cover content, perceived effectiveness, resources, org support, politics, and simply time. So, where does one start?

I have experience with the perceived effectiveness perspective. ‘What about the content you’re covering?’ There often is a perception that one needs to know: ‘A, B, & C’. And yet, not so often in the real world do situations come up A, B, or C. There often is some variation from a set answer where some analysis, critical thinking, and integrative processes are needed to come up with a possible response or solution.

Divergence anyone?

I recall in my Org Change Strategies class where one thinker suggests that a key skill or ability needed in a turbulent environment is that of divergent thinking. That is being able to consider multiple options and hold opposing viewpoints in mind at the same time. This is really an area of interest for me. Perhaps because I came out of Kolb’s inventory with a divergent preference for learning. I think to promote divergent or creative thinking there the process needs to include critical reflection and critical self-reflection along with a healthy discourse.

Justin Summers in the 1994 photo shoot for Stanton Welch’s Divergence. http://www.behindballet.com/flashback-divergence-1994/

Satisfied, happy, or just open learners

One question that has come up frequently in our class discussion is student satisfaction vs student learning. Do learners need to be satisfied and happy to learn? I recall reading of Blake and Mouton’s idea that said something like: ‘we learn when we are emotionally open.’ I think I have seen evidence of this in my own learning as well as in learning events and situations I have facilitated. So, do we need to be happy to be emotionally open? Or satisfied? Maybe a environment where respect and trust is encouraged could better create an opportunity for being emotionally open. To me, emotionally open means curious, interested, engaged, attentive, open to new or alternative perspectives…


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