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Living Enquiry - An Action Research Approach by Jon Rae

"Learning Inquiry is also a co-inquiry with a belief that humans can work together generatively creating space for new forms of collaborative exploration."  Jon Rae

We have been trialing a learning approach over the last two years in both the Right Livelihood and Leadership (Co-creating the Emerging Future) courses. It  is intended to support communities of practice, where  the learning does not take place at the college but in peoples' lives  and livelihoods. This new strand of learning we are calling Living Inquiry.  It is an action research approach supporting an effective and inquiring attitude to the many complex and messy challenges that people face in the lives and livelihoods. In other words, it is research into everyday experience and practice creating forms of knowing which in turn inform experience and practice. It is value laden in that it asks: “how do we progress a many sided life with each individual in service to a fairer and freer society in a life enriching world?". As such this work complements but is different from traditional scientific research.

As well as being value laden,  Learning Inquiry  is also a co-inquiry with a belief that humans can work together generatively creating space for new forms of collaborative exploration.

To contrast the Learning Inquiry with our existing programmes and the postgraduate courses in particular, the useful way of understanding it is as a continuum between on the one hand ‘being the change’ and on the other hand ‘finding out about’ the change. The postgraduate programs, whilst combining both aspects, are weighted more to the ‘finding out about’ end of the continuum and likewise Learning Inquiry approach whilst also reflecting both is weighted more to the ‘be the change’ end.

As such, we are giving form to what has being emerging in the college the last few years with respect to recognizing the development of the Learning Inquiry.  We are also giving form to those thematic areas that had been in development at college. So from now on the Economics for Transition Postgraduate Course will be part  of a broader and deeper landscape of activities based on economics that will include short courses, online learning, audio visual  and written archives. This is now being developed as a Learning Inquiry  that we expect to launch in 2018.

Alongside this new landscape that we are now recognizing at this point  we will include Holistic Science, Eco-design, Myth  and Spirit and Food Cultures. So the change we are recognizing is in fact the development of Learning Inquiry  and in the consolidation all these thematic or landscape areas.