The nature of C.S.H.L. is perhaps best understood by a detailed examination of ‘A Report to Brunel Senate’ in 1991 by the Chairman of the C.S.H.L. Governing Board. As those of you involved with universities may appreciate.

An organisation such as C.S.H.L. which is critically examining the very nature of Human Learning Activity is seen as a threat by many of its members.

But at the same time a university is the very best place from which to study Human Learning. So without going into the detailed nature of the questions that were raised, and the people who raised them:-

In 1991 Brunel Senate had asked its Governing Board of C.S.H.L. to produce a thorough report on what C.S.H.L was actually doing. Again, without going into details the C.S.H.L. Governing Board consisted of two senior members of Brunel Staff and two External Members of Brunel Council. Each of these four had started by being baffled and rather dubious about us: but over a period of time had become more and more interested in what we were doing, and how and why we were doing it. In fact the Chairman had early on asked Sheila to have Learning Conversation with him. He was surprised, impressed and amazed; but thoroughly enjoyed it.

So they produced the following report:


Report to Senate and Council

Prepared by Professor G.C. Bond and Dr. C.M. Elstob, August 1991


This document contains largely factual information and aims to provide a context for decision making about the future of the Centre. The achievements of CSHL are clear and stand in their own rights; however, the Board does wish to make a few evaluative comments. Firstly, the Board holds the work of the Centre in high regard, both academically and in terms of its contribution to improving learning in practical and educational situations. Secondly, the Board is highly conscious that the achievements of CSHL have been the result not only of a great deal of original thinking and innovative practice which has established the new field of self-organised learning and learning conversations on an international footing but also of an astounding investment of time and effort on the part of the principals of the Centre that bears no relation to their formally funded hours.

The material below has been mainly drawn from the Director’s Reports to the Governing Board from June 1984 to May 1991.