It is impossible
to speak about the concept of action learning without mentioning the visionary role of professor
Since 1928 professor
Ravens has applied
action learning in many diverse situations
from the jungles of Nigeria and the classrooms of Leningrad
to the Directorates of Belgium.
his equation for learning is L plus Q that is program knowledge plus questioning,
or knowledge learned from books and experts
is inadequate to keep pace with a rapidly changing world.
professor Raven suggests that learning should be supplemented by questioning insight
and it is this Question-Based approach to learning that differs from normal training.
Learning how to ask questions in conditions of risk and uncertainty
is what action learning is all about.
By working together on real problems like comrades in adversity
we can learn with and from each other,
John Mahony and Dennis Lowney spoke to Professor Ravens at the first world Congress
John Mahony和Dennis Lowney在第一届世界大会上与Ravens教授交谈
on action research and process management in Brisbane
and asked what triggered his interest in this area.
I think the first.
Impression I ever had that we must recognize the limitations of our own abilities.
We may have University degrees.
We may have been professors.
We may be.
Extremely highly regarded as competent experts.
But we must also remember that when we deal with reality,
which is a very complicated thing compared with what you study in the University,
you need something other than your knowledge.
You need to be wise as well as being clever.
And this was first brought home to me by my father.
My father was eventually his majesty's principal surveyor of Mercantile shipping,
and when I was very small Britain was then by far the biggest.
Had the biggest merchant fleet in the world.
So looking after its safety measures,
the design of its ships and so forth was a very important job.
And my father when I was five years of age in 1900 and 12.
Was a major contributor to the
inquiry into the loss of titanic which had sunk in the middle of the Atlantic ocean
with the loss of 1500 lives.
And I can remember as a little boy of five the excitement of all this.
But later on I asked my father what he thought he had learned most from this inquiry.
And he said.
It is the difference between cleverness and wisdom.
You can have all kinds of clever people who will design vessels for you.
All kinds of able.
Mariners to run them out to sea for you.
But if you run into unusual conditions,
you may have not only to have a lot of experts who understand this,
that and the other you may need wise people who take a wider view and say,
I think I understand this,
but there are certain very profound questions.
I should be asking myself if I run away with the idea that I understand everything.
There is because I am expertly qualified.
I'm not going to get into getting into trouble but people around me too.
Now this I picked up when I was quite young but it came out later on when I at the age of.
23 the age of 23.
When I entered the Cavendish no.
I entered the Cavendish laboratory at Cambridge,
which was without any doubt the biggest.
Concentration of intellectual ability on human record we had.
Ten Nobel Prize winners at the time,
ten Nobel Prize winners in one laboratory.
There are many States which are glad to have one Nobel Prize winner among its total inhabitants,
many universities which are very proud to have one in the whole University.
We had ten in one Department physics.
And there I learned what my father or I saw,
what my father had said about the different stream being clover and being wise,
because once a week,
once a week all these geniuses and for seven years I shared their company all these geniuses.
They had a seminar and you were allowed and encouraged to speak at that seminar on condition.
That you spoke about things which weren't going well with your work.
I haven't I haven't met any organization,
anywhere else where the people got together in order to barter their ignorance,
when clever people get together my Golly,
you should see how they behave,
Activity is to convince each other they know more about what's going on than anybody else.
But the Titanic inquiry.
Didn't run to that effect,
nor did the Cavendish and I've heard.
Rutherford Marvellous chap,
son of a new Zealand sheep farmer,
say more than once,
what impresses me most about this discussion is my own bloody ignorance.
What does yours look like to you?
So that was long long ago and one time a chap called Einstein turned up at this,
and I had one or two conversations.
He cleaned the blackboard for him,
so action learning came out of quite.
Serious discussions about how we were trying to do such things as discovered the neutron or
find out what the atom was.
So I learn that topics can be very interesting,
but you must never run away with the idea that you understand them action,
Has in the subsequent 50 years said look if we really are going to understand the mess,
this whatever it may be in it is not enough to rely upon our expert knowledge.
Expert knowledge is necessary.
But it is not sufficient.
We have to learn how to ask ourselves totally different questions.
That's what action learning is,
what are the benefits of action learning?
As you see it as distinct from traditional learning.
let me not Albert Einstein or Lord Rutherford but the schoolchildren of Perth
there must be people even in Brisbane who heard of Perth,
I had turned this whole idea that the distinction between cleverness and wisdom,
I tried to simplify it by saying we learn in this life.
acquainted to deal with conditions which might arise to-morrow which didn't arise yesterday.
We get used to dealing with change.
And I am very glad to see that a lot of Australians are asking these questions.
Things are changing,
how we deal with them,
and the children of Perth heard that I had been talking about this learning equation
that I call it.
I say learning consists in two things,
what other people tell you.
And what you may think up for yourself.
That's a very simple way of putting it.
But day after day you can be attending lectures.
You can even be watching me on television for that or Video for that matter.
You can be picking up ideas you get from other people.
And they may be helpful.
But if you say
this man or this woman understands so much about this topic that I needn't start asking myself
you're in trouble and the school children of Perth.
Somehow found that I had been talking about action,
Equals P program instruction plus Q questioning insight the equals people are sq.
These kids had been picking this up and they they met the children from other schools and said,
we should be thinking about our school Syllabus and having
much more chance to ask questions than we are getting at the moment.
And they wrote a paper called the Q factor centre which they sent to the Ministry of education.
Saying what we should be doing in school is giving a lot more time to to questioning.
And this has led to many things.
The Ministry of education sent the paper that these children had written to me in Manchester.
I said Marvellous to think that here are these youngsters aged between?
I think 13 and 17,
saying how do we develop our questioning,
By building AQ Factser centre and I showed the paper that they had written to a lot of
people from Lenin Grad,
the United States
at a big international conference and said you write from Leningrad to Perth or from.
Cincinnati to Perth or from Stockholm to Perth because
it's only if your children
exchange their ideas with the other children that true learning will take place.
So what I'm what I'm hoping is that.
Action learning adds to traditional learning to traditional education
this positive interest in how do I ask myself fresh questions?
It's quite true.
Before before I can answer the question
before I can find the answer to the question either by going to somebody
who I think might know the answer
or turning to the encyclopedia and looking up the answer there
before I can expect to get the question answered.
I have to discover.
What is the relevant question to put this may be a bit difficult to explain?
But I think the difference between action learning and judicial education.
Is that action learning puts the first emphasis upon what it is.
You don't know
and how you explore this ignorance
of yours in order to say now these are the questions which I should put.
Now I want the help of other people to answer
the questions or I must go to the library to get the answer.