April 18, 2007
We are living in times when the urgency of action is upon us and more people have more decisions to take than ever; decisions which themselves are more difficult than ever. There are many people in circumstances who possess all the knowledge they could ask for but who haven’t learned enough about themselves and how they operate as the instrument employing that knowledge with confidence. We need to do something about this state of affairs urgently in order to help decision-makers become more ‘integrated’ in how they join theory and practice usefully together and enable them to act more ‘congruently.’ That is the domain of Whole Person Learning (WPL).
For things to change in the world we have to enact any decision we make and that, too, involves us fully. We have to do something to make the decision to move from an idea, wish, or a possibility into an action with consequences in the world.
When looked at like this, or better still remembered through an example of your own (of a time when you made an important decision – especially recent one), it soon becomes obvious that acting in the world is a whole person activity. It involves all of us. And we know, too, that how well or how soon we make a decision, how carefully or how casually we consider its implications or measure its impact, is important in what it brings about. It is connected to how far we are willing not only to ‘enact’ the decision – to be ‘in’ the decision whole-heartedly – but how far we are willing to live out the consequences that flow from the decision as an expression of who we are.
All this makes being in the world a whole person activity.
It makes learning about the world, in an important sense, a whole person activity.
But we do not, by and large, help people learn as a whole person activity.
A major part of a whole person approach is to be more holistic; to take in more of the context and to involve more of the whole person in their relationship to the learning. The more we approach such forms of learning, the more we are looking at learning as a holistic activity and the more we need a holistic account of how that occurs.
Bryce Taylor has been involved in the world of education for most of his life, working alongside individuals, groups and organizations in the field of human relations. Passionate about learning, his depth of experience, together with his innovative, insightful and flexible approach, underpinned by a belief in the importance of relationship, enables Bryce to make a unique contribution both in conceptual understanding and practical application.
He became interested in Whole Person Learning before he knew the term and explored a wide range of holistic approaches to learning beginning in the late seventies, first as a participant before taking up facilitating and undertaking long-term training in humanistic education. He also has had a long-standing interest in the transpersonal, his own version of spiritual emergence beginning only twenty years ago.
His interest in education and peer-based ways of working are now strongly expressed in his involvement in all types of inquiry-based learning and collaborative endeavors. He has extensive experience of whole person learning approaches, particularly co-operative inquiries both as participant and initiating facilitator.