Re: Individual/organization relationship LO108

Robert Levi (
Tue, 14 Feb 95 16:15:37 MST

Bill Weber wrote in LO95:
>I have a couple of thoughts
>that consistently appear as I do my work. One is that there is
>substantial resistance in young people to the learning organiztions to
>which they belong, namely their families and schools. The irony is that
>most seem comfortable in giving away their power and responsibility
>for learning to the very system they resist, a paradox which
>frustrates teachers and administrators. Given this training oppor-
>tunity for future workers, why would "adult" systems be any different
>without an enormous effort to undo what we have learned from infancy?
>So, I think that the work does need to have a thrust in early ed-
> Second, I see more and more signs of differences between males
>and females in learning. Gilligan, Lyons, et al, have done some
>work in exploring this. My question is, what does this mean for the
>learning organiztion? Does not an LO have both feminine and mas-
>culine intuition tells me yes. I am eager to hear what
>others think. Thank you.

Interesting questions, Bill. Your first question reinforces a line of
thinking I've had for awhile...and that is that I wonder if we're flogging
a dead horse when we try to bring L.O. paradigms into existing
infrastructures (i.e. school)? My data is that in the case of a school,
for example, it's difficult to draw a boundary around the'd
definitely have to include the testing apparata in the system because so
much of learning is geared toward doing well on what are still
standardized, non-LO testing ideas. That involves change on a national

More and more I'm thinking that it would be far easier to blow off all the
existing structures (i.e. school) and start from scratch. What would a
whole LO pre-college educational framework look like? I'm wondering if
we're in the thrawls of the old farmer's adage when asked for directions:
"Well, you can't get there from here!"

Re: M&F learning styles...
I think that learning styles are breaking out of the old M/F stereotypes,
and are being refined more into other genres (i.e. kinesthetic, auditory,
visual, etc.) Yes, there is linear thinking and non-linear thinking, and it
has been ascribed to M & F, but that paradigm is changing.

One example of this dualistic approach to LO learning is in the two major
conferences that take place around systems thinking and LO's. I'm speaking
of the yearly Pegasus conferences, and the semi-annual Bretton Woods
conferences. Having attended both, I'm struck by major differences in the
two. Pegasus is very structured, lots of possible tracks to take which are
known ahead of time, and in my mind, "head" oriented. It's very popular
because that's how most people like to go to conferences...knowing what
they're getting themselves into, knowing which sessions they'll attend,

Bretton Woods, on the other hand, has felt like it expresses the "heart"
of the LO body. It has been very unstructured, quite scary sometimes,
especially for those who need structure, as well as for those who have to
justify to their bosses back home the expense of sending them to a
conference that feels much more self-organizing, thus unpredictable.

Both conferences have their strengths and weaknesses, and both are
absolutely required in the LO body. The question is, what would happen if
they tried to co-exist at the same time in the same place? Probably the
same thing that happens when linear and non-linear people try to get
together to create something...chaos! The key is to live in a perspective
that can encompass both, and that means releasing attachment to one or the
other. It's that perspective that I'm attempting to live in more and more.
I feel it will be a requirement in order for any LO body to survive.

Robert Levi | 4801 N. 107th St. | voice: 303/665-6679,x361
Director of Computing | Lafayette, CO 80026 | fax: 303/665-0757
Alexander Dawson School | email: | Systems Thinking Junkie
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