The acoustics of social learning: designing learning processes that contribute to a more sustainable world

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Part essay, part toolkit, part review, part academic research, coming from the perspective of social learning the report ‘The accoustics of social learning’ by Arjen Wals, Noor van der Hoeven and Harm Blanken provides a wealth of examples and patterns into the type of learning processes that take place within a societal innovation lab. You can access the full report here.

From the introduction:

‘Social learning’ is increasingly referred to as a manner in which to actively commit people to far-reaching processes of change. Social learning can be explained in a number of ways. In essence, it is about bringing people of different backgrounds together. The ensemble of perspectives, knowledge and experiences that is brought about in this way is necessary in order to come to a creative quest for answers to questions for which no ready-made solutions are available. It also provides insight into the significance and the role of social learning in realising a society that is more sustainable than society today… Social learning is viewed here as an explicitly organised activity. 

In this essay,we have framed social learning using a learning cycle consisting of a number of phases in which each phase, in turn, is made up of its own learning cycle. We discuss a large number of considerations, forms of help and pitfalls, but there are undoubtedly more than discussed here. The essay does not examine the tools that are available for the purpose of strengthening social learning. various methods are available and can be used for each phase. references to sources are included at the end of this essay in which these kinds of ‘tools’ are introduced and described.

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