Achieving More Than Was Predicted

Learning Conversations

As you may have seen in the “What is S-O-L” section of this website we began to use the idea of ‘Becoming a Robot’ very early in our research (1960’s and 1970s). So we intended it to imply a very fixed and un-insightful mode of being. Although many mechanical robots appear to be acquiring a little more flexibility these days, we have continued to use the term in it’s and our original sense. As the idea of “scientific measurements of a person’s temperament and abilities”, in education and in choosing people for a job, has become more and more widespread, our own work has lead us to believe that many, many people have fallen into these, for us, unnecessary measurement traps. Over and over in one area and another, we have found that apparently limited people are, with appropriate support and guidance, able to achieve more and even more than was “psychologically and scientifically” predicted. It is during various parts of their education and other aspects of ‘growing up’, that they had rather quickly fallen into these ‘physical science’ measurement traps; and had no recognised ways out. They had too easily accepted that these “robot-like” limitations to learning were inborn and therefore had to be accepted as inevitable impediments to their further progress. The earlier psychological investigators of learning skills and other personal characteristics:- from intelligence to perceptual skills, and character strengths and weaknesses; fell into the same “it is endowed” trap which then became a lifelong problem for the person so “scientifically labelled”.

Our work quite clearly shows the in many cases these are not the absolute limitations that they were claimed to be. Although our work in creating and improving the various forms of Learning Conversation, is still in its developmental stages, even now we have already shown that people can almost always become more and different than the usual forms of education and treatment has lead them to accept. In the “What is S-O-L” section we have explained how the MAP (Meaning, Action and Perception) and the “Challenging the Robot” (Three Dialogues) techniques have enabled us to develop the “Learning Conversation” Process of boot-strapping oneself from the “Task Learning” through the “Learning to Learn” activities to the more fully fledged “Life and Relevance” Learning Conversation. This gradually introduces and incorporates the various levels and uses of the (PLC) the “Personal Learning Contract” which was introduced in the “What is S-O-L” section and more fully explained in the “Conversational Methods” section.

Some Reminders of the Relevant CSHL Methodology

As the result of Challenging the “TASK” robot(s), we are able now to able to use the Learning Robots to challenge the Task Robots more effectively.