Roland Lubett: Collaborative and appropriate learning methods in holistic community work
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13 January 2013
The situation (context)
I’m a lecturer at All Nations, a mission training college in the UK. We are a vocationally-oriented college, training adults both face-to-face and online. We’ve become aware of the big unmet demand from fieldworkers and practitioners in the global South, for professional development in community work principles and approaches.
The change you would like to see (challenge)
What do you hope to achieve?
Promote a movement of holistic fieldworkers who continually learn from one another. The task is to put learning approaches and experiences at the service of the faith-based development community in the South. Faith groups have a better record of reaching the grassroots.
What would be different if you succeed?
A whole body of people would have access to in-service, on-the-job learning and information. They would also feel part of a community of learning and practice.
How you might go about bringing that change?
I hope to design and trial a programme of compassionate community work that encourages a collaborative learning approach, respecting and valuing each participant as a source of knowledge and experience. I understand that this is well suited to online learning environments; but the context of working cross-culturally raises two big issues:
- Communications standards vary greatly across countries and regions. The best have bandwidth as good as the UK, while the poorest have patchy mobile coverage
- The collaborative learning model may need to be modified, or even replaced, in cultures that have different learning styles.