Single, double, triple loop-de-loop with a cherry on top.

This week’s reading was based on Chris Argyris’ theories and exploration about learning and the ways humans react to certain situations. It confused me a tad, I found it to be a bit complex in a bizarre way. I found myself re-reading almost every sentence trying to wrap my head around certain concepts, but honestly found them dripping out of my left ear like water. Educational water though I guess… I still managed to connect to some of the key concepts and found some of it quite interesting and conceptual.

Here is essentially what I picked up:

  • What we try to convince others or ourselves is our normal behaviour can be called espoused theory. Basically it is how we think we would react in a certain situation and what action we would take, whether it is based on past experiences or not. I may be completely off, but I pictured a 30-something year old dude with tatts telling his mates over a jug of beer that if confronted with a grizzly bear, he would take the sucker down with a body slam and wear his claws as gloves for the next few days. (it’s been a long day…)
  • However, what actually governs our actions and behaviour is known as this theory-in-use. So, in my completely ridiculous example, it’s this tough dude running so fast and far away and crying like a child. Right?? Probably not. It kinda made me think of the “gap” between what I say I do and what I actually do. How big is that gap?
  • Single-loop learning is a matter of detecting and correcting error. For example, as I’m writing this and noticing a little red line under a word then fixing up its spelling is considered single-loop learning. I’ve detected an error, and by fixing it, I’ve learned the proper way to spell that word.
  • If the individual or organisation in question does not have to sacrifice or stretch their “governing strategies”, that is their present policies, objectives etc., this is single loop learning.
  • Double loop learning is a matter of questioning these governing variables and work outside of them; an alternative and more critical way of learning. To detect and correct the error, double-loop learning involves modifying your underlying norms, policies and objectives.

Anyway those are the key points over the first few pages, I really felt towards the end of the reading that I was being asked to consider my learning style, critically think about how and why I react in certain situations and why I should be questioning all this instead of sitting idly by while my brain spins like a hamster wheel.

Grizzly bears and hamster wheels. I should definitely go to sleep.

Goodnight, blog world!

2 thoughts on “Single, double, triple loop-de-loop with a cherry on top.

  1. Pingback: Overheard: course outcomes in practice | Concepts in and out of Practice

  2. Pingback: More Looping Loops | Networked Media

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