Whilst working on the Praxis symposium this year I found myself thinking about what is it that I am really doing when when I am designing a workshop or learning experience. I have written about this before (see How to cultivate conversation, The Craft of Improv) but I still keep learning. Which in itself is fabulous – one of life’s great joys is to find you can keep on learning about something you already know well.
Earlier this year I took a few days out to stay at the Krishnamurti Centre - a beautiful retreat centre in southern England, next to Brockwood Park School, where two of my sons are studying. The Centre is dedicated to Jiddu Krishnamurti’s work. They have all of his books in just about every language you can imagine and a large number of his talks on video.
I was recently interviewed by a Radio Station, BFM in Malaysia. Which I thought was rather lovely, given that I live in a small town in rural Spain. I think I can reasonably claim to be the only inhabitant of Arenas de San Pedro to be interviewed by an Asian radio station.
Freddie Mercury was wrong. If you want it now you can’t have it all. At least not in the realm of learning. Part way through an experimental, two-day, Praxis workshop, one of the participants told me that she couldn’t work out what she was getting from it. She was by her own admission having a wonderful time and she was well aware that the workshop was experimental (there was a clue in the title - it was called ‘The Awareness Experiment).
My friend and colleague John-Paul Flintoff has been writing about feedback. So I gave him some and he gave me some – inviting me to write this post. I am interested in how easily we confuse feedback and evaluation. Indeed, we don’t just confuse them (i.e. have trouble telling them apart) we conflate them – assuming them to be the same thing. But they aren’t.