Who learns from whom?

Unhelpful advice (for this, at least) from Google Images…

I never tire of telling people how much I enjoy my negotiation class. That’s mainly because I’m never really sure what will happen and what we’ll discover together.

This year has been no exception and has really just stressed so much of what we write about here at ALPSblog.

Speaking personally, the real gains didn’t come in class time but in the series of conversations that I had with students last week as they prepared for their final assessment, a reflective piece on what they’d got from the class.

In those few hours, I got to discuss a whole range of ideas – generated by the students themselves – that I’ve never really considered properly before. These ranged from the relationship between leadership and negotiation to the extent that people project images of their desired selves through their interpersonal actions.

The aim of these discussions wasn’t to answer these points, but rather to use them as a means of organising students’ thoughts. However, I find myself turning these over and over and wondering how I can bring them into my own practice, be that in the class itself or more generally.

It’s a truism of active learning to say that we learn from each other, but it’s not that often that one gets such a vivid display.

I’m a better instructor and facilitator for moments like these. By trying to be open to the work and thought of others – and that very much includes students – we can all gain.

And on that thought, I’ll wish you a happy break, whatever you end up doing, and we’ll see you again next year. And who knows what we’ll learn then…