What is an emergence? LO20254

John Gunkler (jgunkler@sprintmail.com)
Tue, 22 Dec 1998 09:53:15 -0600

Replying to LO20237 --

June, you write eloquently that ...
>This is a new way of thinking about our responsibilities. In a
>self-organizing system, people do for themselves most of what in the past
>has been done to them. Self-organizing systems create their own
>structures, patterns of behavior, and processes for accomplishing. They
>design what's necessary to do the work. They agree on behaviors and
>relationships that make sense to them. Those of us not directly involved
>in the doing of their work can give up fussing about designs, or believing
>that our timelines make things happen, or that our training programs
>change the behavior of the organization.

It is also an old way of thinking about teaching. It was developed by
Maria Montessori and is still being implemented today by teachers who
understand exactly what you have written.

I don't believe that the Montessori "method" is the only way to teach,
perhaps not even the best way. However, it is the closest thing I've seen
to the ideal you describe. And she, along with John Dewey (but not the
disastrous half-implementation of his ideas that we experienced in the
U.S. in the 1950's), truly respects the learner as a self-organizing

Maybe it's time we went back in order to go forward. Let's create a
little entropy!


"John Gunkler" <jgunkler@sprintmail.com>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <rkarash@karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>