LILA ~ Learning Innovations Laboratory at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

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February 2014 Member Feedback

Posted by

Josh Alwitt

The session was enjoyable and I had some good takeaways from the discussion that I think could help me in my work here.  The LILA format continues to have tremendous potential for sparking breakthrough thinking in the adult learning field.  It’s clear how much effort the LILA team puts into these sessions and the vetting of speakers and participants must be difficult work.  It was my 14th gathering and I would say it ranked towards the lower end when I look back.  The energy seemed a little flat and here are some thoughts on why that might be:

  • A number of participants were quiet and did not contribute to the dialog.  It feels like there was more challenging going on in the past and mroe breakthrough thinking.  Maybe the LILA staff could do more to provoke the group when the conversation is flat.
  • It felt like there was a lot of sitting; in the last session, even the circle conversation where we ‘opened windows’ and ‘closed doors’, while also sitting, was very energized because we were asking each other high gain questions meant to encourage reflection, in a small group.  I would like to see more use of our hands for tactile experiences, musical experiences.   I unfortunately missed the drawing session on Tuesday, which probably would have added to my experience – maybe some of that kind of creativity could be brought into the main session. Maybe new language or paradigms – the “puzzles” and “takeaways” is starting to feel stale.
  • The popcorn research was a bit stale if you’ll pardon the pun.  That experiment is widely documented and I would imagine, widely known.  I would like to see research that’s not covered in the popular literature and is really jaw-dropping.
  • While the addiction research was intriguing and coming from a new perspective, and Professor Heyman was great, it would have been helpful to explore the links to our work in more depth.  It was only in the last café that we started listing the kinds of habits we were concerned with.  That would have been a helpful discussion to have closer to the beginning to ground the rest of the conversation.
  • David Perkins did a wonderful job – I would have liked his session also to have taken place earlier to remind us from the beginning what habit has to do with unlearning.
  • Maybe there’s a way the participants themselves could have more of a role in shaping the next gathering; that way they would have more investment in the outcome.

Speaking of Prof. Heyman, his disposition was perfect for LILA.  So friendly, approachable, open-minded and truly curious.  He’s a real gem.

 Richard Gross

I thought it was a very good meeting! Nice balance between the ideation and practical. Overall, very ell done! A couple of thoughts:

Keep doing:

  • Pre-reading brief (very helpful!).
  • I thought that having one (vs. 2) learning rounds actually worked quite well, although 2 would also work
  • The recap “putting it all together” session was great.
  • Adequate time to break/recharge over lunches

Possible modifications to consider-no major changes, but a few thoughts:

  • I think Dr. Heyman had some great content, but there was a lot of material to present given the time constraints. I think if presentation was a bit more condensed then there would have been more time for questions and understanding.
  • I would consider adding the recap at end of the first day (vs. just mid-day the second day)I thought the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (I had read it earlier) was quite interesting (and a relatively “easy read”) and to the extent that you and the leadership team know of other good books I think would be great to provide your suggestions for optional reading

Laurent Bernard

  • The design of the days is still a good one
  • External speaker who are part of the full days and not coming for half an hour performance is a good and valuable design.  So we need to keep that
  • The take away and puzzle as well but rather than having 2 people doing cluster is there something we can use like the leaderful exercise to be more thoughts provoking during this moment
  • The café is a good group exercise but we sometime struggle to find the right topic – how can we improve that ? why not ask to our guest to come prepare with one which would be for them an opportunity to leverage our thinking. Same for the LILA team ? and we would then try to find 2 as group
  • The business cases are a good exercise too – here again may be the use of tools like leaderful could help the interaction if needed

 Carleen Haas

  • I thought that the animation video on the last meeting was fabulous – and would love to be able to show it to my team.
  • David P ‘s piece making connections did a lot for me as well.

Kathy Gagne

  • Thanks, the session was great!  I’m not sure how I missed the previous video summaries, but sharing that at the beginning was a very useful way to get up to speed for those of us that missed the previous session and as a reminder to start the new session.  Perhaps pointing out the videos in the pre-session communication as we are preparing for the upcoming workshop, may also help so that we can view in advance.
  • Also, for me, the framework that David provided and the connections between the 2 sessions were very useful for  my personal way of learning.

Harvard Graduate School of Education