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Carter's work is great. I was a coach in a peer learning circles program based on his design. It's all based on action learning models.

There is a group blog that is all about this - and does a regular piece "What five things did you learn today?"

Wouldn't that be a cool collaborative exercise for us to run? Start a nonprofit group learning blog where we could have our learning experiences in one place. We each do some of that with our own blogs, but I think it would be interesting to have that as its own space. If you have the link to the group blog you mentioned, I'd love to have it!

And I completely agree with you about Carter. I've been a big fan of his stuff since the mid 90s. Talk about someone who's willing to share his info with the world--he's had his nonprofit management library online for at least 10 years now I think.

Beth, I'd like to join the "five things I learned today" blog if you can share the link. I made a commitment on my blog today to "make learning more intentional."

Thanks for the link to Carter McNamara. His site is chock full 'o information!

Great post Michele,

I'd also like to join the "five things I learned today" blog. I've been thinking about ways to learn more that addds value and this might be a good opportunity! Michele/Beth, please share the link with us!

I've just come across your post on using blogs for intentional learning and this is just what I ahve been trying to ask people to be considering. As a healthcare professional in the UK we have to evidence our continuing professional development as to how we are keeping upto date etc. A big part of this is reflective practice for which we use a few models for (Gibbs, Johns etc) which ask similar questions to those in the article presented. I am trying to get pratitioners to consider that blogs could be ideal evidence of reflection which is not just an isolated journal - but open to peer comment and review. I am trying very hard to practice what I preach and am now making more headway in offering comment and posts for discussion. Thanks for your blog - it is definitley a model to aspire to.


I've been all over your blog today, picking up wonderful ideas from various posts.

First of all - Love the conversation about reflection. After reading Carter's questions I wonder if there is a difference between reflection and retrospection.

One essential question about reflection -it seems to me - is what is the meaning of my experience and how can I express it? OR, perhaps a better question is how can I express my experience in a way that allows the meaning to surface or manifest. Now, that's more like it!

Personally, I think reflection requires us to turn back to the experience and not think so much but instead let go of thinking long enough to arrive at some sort of expression of the experience. For example I reflect with patterns, colors and textures - which yield insight. But insight is not necessarily the goal. Sensing and expresssing the experience is.

I found one idea about reflection in Storytelling and Inquiry, Peter Reason, editor.

"Explanation is the mode of classifying, conceptualizing, and building theories from experience. Here the inquirer stands back, analyzes, discovers and invents concepts, and relates these to a theoretical model….orthodox science is an exercise in explanation – endeavoring to answer the question of what and why.

Expression is the mode of allowing the meaning of an experience to become manifest. It requires us to partake deeply of an experience, rather than stand back to analyze. Meaning is part and parcel of all experience – although it may be so interwoven with experience that it is hidden. It needs to be discovered, created, or made manifest and communicated. We work with meaning when we tell stories, write and act in plays, write poems, meditate, create pictures….."

This idea that the meaning of our experiences are hidden is so powerful and TRUE but ever more powerful is the very act of discovering, creating, making manifest and communicating the meaning of our experiences!

Candee Basford

Wonderful use of thought! A great description of how we should think about learning, as a life long feeding of our souls.
Its my hope to educate a greater population of the youth of today in this manner as well, so that they might grow up knowing tbat learning isnt a chore to be "got through" and that the passion of igniting the fire of wanting knowledge can be the greatest thing we encounter. I will use some of the journal tips to self examine, and perhaps offer to parents who are
unschooling their children, when I attend the unschooling conference in the UK this summer http://www.londonunschoolingconference.blogspot.com/

I have had some experience in managing blogs for my classes in last 5 years, and recoganise and experience it is a great chllenge to sustain effectiveness and learning through Peer education.

Blogger students do surprise you (teacher) at times. many a times you get endorsed (without any credits to you) regarding what you had taught, and that gives confidence to you, for the following, the ability to influence, and validate they are learning.

I did not go through the postings, and am sorry if I appear to be an unaware intruder in this blogged subject
Thank You,
Priyavrat Thareja

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