New 4th Edition

Next year (2018) the popular 3rd edition Experiential Learning Handbook will become a revised 4th edition. I am in the process of writing new material so any requests that would enhance the book will be considered (my e-mail is c.m.beard@shu.ac.uk). I aim to write more on experiential education and the way in which experiential learning is different from experiential education. There will be more on human language and its role in learning, more on making learning visible, more on learning experience design,  and there will be new case studies from around the world. Watch this space for more news.  Experiential Learning

Sharjah, UAE.

I enjoyed my time in Sharjah, UAE speaking at a major conference, and then delivering a ‘taster’ workshop. The campus here is fantastic; full of higher education instututions, an oasis of space, greenery and learning. It is really great to meet people who are passionate about education, and busy designing new types of learning experiences for their students. It is also such a pleasure for me to sit and listen to presentations of other lecturers: the variety of topics was amazing.

The last time I was here was probably 13 years ago when I was asked to train the staff at the Coral Beach Resort here by Martin Kolb the Manager at that time. I met him when I was delivering an Executive Management programme at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi! Sharjah has changed a great deal since then. The hotel I am in sadly doesn’t have a swimming pool, but in the spirit of reframing I managed to get a lot of work done! This is especially so as I received an e-mail whilst out here from Wiley Publishing, US, asking me to write a chapter on the current influences of Dewey on experiential education and experiential learning. So yes I have been the only one here reading at breakfast, sitting outside at the roadside tables with a coffee doing more reading and making a lot of notes, and then doing the same on the plane whilst everyone watches films! It is rewarding to get so much pleasure from learning. Charles Handy said that ‘those who are in love with learning are in love with life’. Hmmmmm.

 

Scotland

Had a great trip to Scotland to work with the Open University. Some staff development work in Edinburgh, followed by a talk to the Associate Lecturers at the Staff Development Conference at the Police College in Tulliallan on the Saturday. The talk was entitled ‘Communcating with our learners: language, learning and emotions’. I enjoyed every minute of my time with all the staff. The train journey up, and back down to Sheffield was brilliant too, with the sea visible and the blue sky lifting my spirits. What a nice weekend – thank you OU Scotland. My next trip is to India to the Magic Bus Centre (a charity helping thousands of kids) near Mumbai, then after Christmas I am working with a brilliant environmental charity in Hong Kong (Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Gardens). Busy times but really interesting.

Master Class in India in September

The Experiential Learning Master Class in Pune near Mumbai in India over the weekend of the 10th and 11th September has now been postponed until late December 2016. If you are interested in attending please contact the Magic Bus Centre. The session will explore many facets of the human experience of learning in an interactive way. We cover active learning, enhancing sensory capacities for learning, supporting how the brain thinks and learns, emotional dynamics,  and aspects of human ‘being’ and ‘belonging’. Suitable for lecturers, trainers, and facilitators. Join me for a great weekend.

First trip to the States

In May 2016 I made my first trip to the US as a result of an invitation to work with the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington. I was priviledged to be invited by the Association of Diplomatic Studies to deliver a keynote speech, followed by two Master Classes on Experiential Learning for people who work with Diplomats and Ambassadors. A great honour and a great experience.

Slovakia

I am about to start a new Master Class in Banski Bystrica, Slovakia tomorrow. I have been reading so much on the human brain recently and on the plane out here I read a new book on ‘Neurosicence for learning and development’, by Kogan Page publishers. I enjoyed it as it added a little bit more to my extensive reading and understanding of ‘brain books’. The cognitive era is making a comeback, in a slightly different guise thanks to new hi-tech tools of brain scanning etc. It is the age of neuroscience, and everyone is making connections with how our human brains work.

Tomorrow however I will be exploring how our brains are linked to our bodily understanding as well as our cognitive functioning….the brain needs the sensory data, and the emotional data, and the knowledge content for example to enrich learning. We need to know, to do, to get, to have, to want and to feel. In evolutionary terms the brain is designed now to work with very complex data.

We want our children to learn to do and act (agency), to learn to be emotionally intelligent, to learn to know and to learn to think, and to learn to sense and observe the world with great skill. These things are needed for the good of our global society. These are the basic essentials of education. The higher order things are however much more difficult for educators and trainers to work with, and so often ignored. For the politicians who persistently meddle with educational ideologies merged with polical ideologies, there is much more to do. Working with the 3 Bs,  not just the 3Rs is where we ought to be exploring education for the future. The 3Bs are:  belonging, becoming and being. The 3 Bs are complex. The human need to belong to other humans and to the community, and the more-than-human global world is essential to our health and well-being, as is our need to become someone, and to be someone.

I met Poorna Malaveth in India last December: a so called ‘lower caste’ girl, who summitted Everest last year, she said she in a speech that she is not inferior to anyone.

I absolutely I agree with her: so who is it and what old ways of thinking block the future for this talented girl?

I am hoping to run a Master Class in Mumbai, India at the Magic Bus Centre in early September, and in China once again (after a spell of not working therefora while) in 2017. Watch out for news.

The Magic Bus Centre is doing remarkable work with young children and kids to develop a brighter future for them, in partnership with their education and they have worked with nearly 300,000 kids last year.