To support my learning and development as a teacher, I connected with Hedvig Murray and Nigel McKean, and joined their action learning guild (ALG). Together, they are putting together a Permaculture Association recognised pathway into teaching.
An ALG is a peer based support structure that can be utilised for any development process. For example, to support the work I’m doing towards my diploma, we have set up a guild for London based apprentices. These meetings are an opportunity to find out what the other members are involved in and to develop beneficial connections.
The guilds needs a minimum of three participants. One scribe, one listener, and one person talking. For larger groups, this works too, as the roles are cycled through the group, and everyone is given a chance to speak. Each person, that is speaking, answers the four questions and in doing so has the opportunity to vocalise whatever is coming up for them, while the listener is “actively listening”. In western society, being focused on the self and continuous self justification, we have a tendency to interrupt or think about how we will respond. Instead, active listening asks one to suspend judgement, refrain from mental activity, be present and be available to what is being witnessed.
In life, I’ve struggled to find my personal voice and I really value the opportunity to be truly heard. It ‘s interesting to observe what is vocalised when given the space and permission to speak from the heart.
Here’s an example of the notes taken by Hedvig, as answers to my four questions from 12 September 2011