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Loops of Learning Session #4

In this 4th session I took a more organic approach, with inspiration from the Question Formulation Techniques of the Right Question Institute. We analysed our use of open and closed questions to see where this took us on themes drawn from previous sessions.

The sessions themes were:

Digital Division

Common Knowledge

Reinforcing Silos

The group was most interested in discussing the myths of Common Knowledge and what that looked and felt like.

We began with an Noam Chomsky article about common identity to spark some debate about what we felt common knowledge was, and whether it even existed.

The organic vibe to this session made it much more conversational and dinner party-like than previous more facilitated sessions.

I think this led to a greater connection and safer feeling within the group and great conversation were had about indigenous common knowledge and the considerations across 'tribes' of what we commonly know.

The session led me to reflect that this safe space is where we can really explore and challenge our biases, value and beliefs. This is becoming a goal of the Loops of Learning sessions, to create that space.

I encouraged everyone to write down questions on the Noam Chomsky article they read, as well as consider what common knowledge meant to them. I then encouraged discussions about open and closed questions.

It was an interesting exercise to take closed questions and turn them in to open questions as it prompted brand new areas of exploration. The 'why'?, 'how?' and 'what if?' of open questions cracked open lines of discussion that had been just yes or no answers previously.

Are there different perspectives of truth?


How can common ground be found between different perspectives of the truth?

The nights conversation was difficult to wrap up this time as I was torn, not wanting to facilitate the session too strongly, enable organic conversation while also providing a sense of resolution. I was forced to question 'Is that the white way?' Do I need to lead people to a resolution at the end of each session, like a tightly orchestrated meeting? I'll continue to explore that question.

The conversations about common knowledge sparked interesting deep dives in to what we consider common knowledge to be and how our judgements and biases creates 'othering' easily through not having shared language or understandings. This has been most prevalent in our indigenous understandings and continues to make our reconciliations difficult.

There is much more to discuss and explore here and we'll continue in future sessions.

If you want to know more about the Question Formulation Technique, I encourage you to look a the Right Question Institute website. They have many interesting free resources.

If you'd like to join one of our sessions, please subscribe to our mailing list via the Loops of Learning homepage and you'll receive notice of events. My goal is to create safe spaces, where deep conversations can happen, that won't always 'resolve' but will provide new perspectives and thinking, if you're prepared to embrace the learning.

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