WebLab #2 – Deep Listening: Connecting to what emerges

Cards for Democracy
Published on
October 28, 2021
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WebLabs for Shared Learning – WebLab 2

Deep listening: Connecting to what emerges

L2C trainers proposed a WebLab process that is useful for educators and to practice their collective ability to perceive, discuss, and research complex issues. Because so many of the challenges that we face now are complex, we need approaches to meeting that complexity.

Thinking in complexity requires the ability to perceive across multiple perspectives and contexts. This is not a muscle that has been trained into us in school or in the work world. It is a skill acutely needed in this era to meet our personal, professional, and collective needs to respond to crises, and to improve our lives.

A kaleidoscope of conversations: Warm data labs for teacher professional development

What we want to offer today is a kaleidoscope of conversations in which cross-contextual knowing is generated — this cross-contextual information is the Warm Data (Nora Bateson). Learn to Change has adapted Warm data labs to the context of teachers’ professional development. We have gathered educators, students and parents to have intergenerational conversations, between people who rarely meet to talk outside of the pressure of education systems!

Sustaining people-to-people interaction in weblabs is comparable to “allowing the scientific spirit to infuse our communication” (David Bohm). We need to have a kind of scientific attitude when we talk. Weblabs does mean that we are getting ready to do. That is the gist of the scientific spirit. We are just listening.

We listen without having to make any choices about who is right and who is wrong. It is more important to see the whole meaning that emerges rather than any particular opinion that would prevail because seeing the whole helps us create a new frame of mind in which our different understandings have enough common content for us to connect to our unique consciousness.

The team is designing new WebLabs! Stay informed this fall!
If you or your institution is interested in providing WebLabs for Professional Development, contact us.

Lessons learnt from Weblab 2

The value of engaging with complexity
When learning to act with complexity we can:
● BE less likely to want to land an answer fast and WILLING to be with confusion and complexity.
● STEP BACK and LISTEN for different questions to emerge
● Better SEE emerging and changing patterns,
● HEAR the spoken and unspoken messages

This is communicative awareness which participants can reinvest in their own environment. Such skills are needed to research and cope with complex issues, and to improve our lives when so many of the challenges that we face now are complex! “Thinking in complexity requires the ability to perceive across multiple perspectives and contexts.” (Nora Bateson).

What is learnt?
During the debriefing session (meta reflection on the whole weblab), we had such rich material to share together, that a whole group conversation was easily born. It is quite amazing how, as we engage with the same story seen through different lenses (intercontextual perspectives), our mind opens up to new possibilities and understandings… with warmth! As one participant put it “When we got new contexts I was like ‘well this context has nothing to do with the story’ and then someone tells their story of that context and I think ‘Oh well yes of course, I hadn’t thought of that , but I get it, there is a connection!”.

The most meaningful feedback came from the youngest of all participants (a 16 year old girl) : “I am grateful for this weblab … it was about issues which are so important for us and that no one ever talks about!!!! It was the first time I heard such things and a story like the one you told us! Thanks a lot. I hope you continue the weblabs because such moments are important.”

Please share this invitation with anyone you think would like to participate in these conversations.

You can join one or all of the sessions.


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