The nature of each of these five types of Personal Meaning –

  1. rote,
  2. coherent,
  3. explanatory,
  4. constructive,
  5. creative

– is different; each implies a different intent on the part of the learner. Each implies a different relationship between the learner and his or her personal meaning.

Each type of personal meaning can vary in quality. We can have ‘better’ or ‘worse’ rote-type personal meaning and we can have ‘better’ or ‘worse’ qualities of meaning within each of the other types. The important thing to note is that each learner would use quite different tests, different criteria for determining ‘better’ or ‘worse’ within each type. However, we are here considering not only the type of personal meaning which is being generated, but also the nature of the conversational learning processes which generate these meanings.

The nature of the process which generates each of these types of personal meaning is different; it is monitored differently, using different criteria to regulate the conversational meaning constructing process and to ‘measure’ its effectiveness. Here we begin to see how a person’s capacity for learning might be changed. We might help them improve the quality of personal meaning which they generate within a given type; that is, they may learn how to generate better ‘rote-type’ personal meaning. Also they may learn to generate different types of personal meaning in relation to a given topic or task and thus transform their acquisition of competency and their operational efficiency. Rote-Factual meaning leads to exactly identical cycles of anticipation. Coherent Instructional-Informational meaning leads to more variable anticipations, but these are nevertheless repetitive as a logical or categorical consequence of known positions in a static structure. Explanatory meaning leads to anticipations which are the consequence of causal chains, system characteristics or multi-causal networks. Constructive and creative meaning introduces new components and structures from outside the system and anticipations will involve new parameters and patterns of consequences. The Learning Conversationalist, the Self-Organised Learner, has the capacity to converse and generate meanings at all levels and can so construct and create freedom to direct their own personal destinies.