Crossing the road safely, riding a bicycle, solving quadratic equations, using a lathe, writing a novel or even winning a gold medal at the Olympics are all essentially Task-Level activities. However, for most people much of the time many such familiar activities become what in the 1960s and ’70s we called ‘Robotish’. For us, this continues to mean only that the particular skill; whatever it is; has become finally, but wrongly, accepted by the person as the maximum that they will ever achieve at this particular activity.
Even now despite the increasing complexity of robots; no-one believes they are yet conscious; so we have continued to use the words ‘Robot’ and ‘Robotish’ to mean any particular form of MAP which has become so well practised that it does not now involve detailed consciousness.
People trying to become ‘better’ at such activities often disrupt their existing process; and most of them feel so threatened by this that they are unable to continue the attempt further. So they accept their current practice as the limits of their ability. Despite ‘scientific’ backup from those professional psychologists who continue to believe in the integrity of the decreasing range of PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS which they still continue to use; we among others have shown that achieving much more than one accepts, is almost always only a matter of appropriate Self-Organised-Learning (S-O-Ling).
As you have seen in the opening “Level 1” diagram, at this “TASK-FOCUSED” level, the S-O-L Coach is concentrating on enabling the learner to discover how they can become much better and more effective at whatever it is that they have chosen (or been asked) to do.
The S-O-L Coach is not teaching or instructing them how to do whatever it is. Part of the process of becoming an S-O-Ler is to gradually discover for yourself more effective ways for doing whatever it is they are trying, ‘or being asked’, to learn. The learner isencouraged to use the S-O-L Conversational Methods, for example the PLC (Personal Learning Contract), to become better and better at whatever they are trying to do. So they gradually become more and more effective. The S-O-L Coach’s “Task-Level job” is to support and enable them to discover for themselves increasingly more effective ways of going about this Self-Organised-Learning (S-O-L) activity.
The ‘Positive Results’ section of this website describes a wide variety of projects in which an increasingly varied set of processes of “learning-how-to-learn” have been discovered and used more and more effectively. The ‘Conversational Methods’ section lists the ever increasing range of techniques which we have developed for use in a more and more varied range of applications.
The Learning Conversation
The TASK-FOCUSED PLC (Personal Learning Contract) uses ‘CHALLENGING THE ROBOT’, and with its three dialogues to enable the S-O-Ler to reflect and continuously develop.
It starts with the ‘PROCESS‘ dialogue where the user describes how they currently go about, whatever it is they are doing. This then challenges the existing level of performance they are achieving. But initially this ‘challenge’ often produces in a ‘drop’ in performance which calls for the much needed ‘SUPPORT’ dialogue from the Coach. This enables the learner to work their way through ‘the drop’ to achieve gradual improvement in what they are doing. The ‘QUALITY’ dialogue enables them to develop a continuous awareness of improvements in their personally defined and valued Task-Level of performance.
The Self-Organised Learner
With SUPPORT from the Coach, if required, the Self-Organised Learner begins to develop, elaborate and refine their own Personal Meanings, which they are more and more carefully applying to what they are doing. As they do this, the consequential ACTIVITIES and the PERCEPTION of the results enables them to gradually and more carefully control of how their S-O-Ling is developing.
They then have to refine and apply this understanding, in order to break down the earlier less effective Robot they want to change. The PLC (which is described in the beginning of the Conversational Methods section) is the most immediately useful means of achieving this.
The S-O-L Coach works with the Learner at the TASK level
The above diagram illustrates just how the Task-Focused Learning Conversation of the Coach, gradually enables the Learner to look within their Task-Robot for ways in which they can improve and develop how they are going about their Task Activity.
Once they are using the PLC the idea of MAR4S-ing (as described in the Conversational Methods section) enables the learner to become more and more deeply aware of exactly how they are attributing meaning to the situation, and using that meaning to effectively do whatever it is, that will help to achieve the final quality.
The remaining sections of Personal Meaning, Learning Activity and Perceiving Results (from Conversational Methods) elaborates on how this general process can be more and more deeply developed to improve the quality and achievements of the Self-Organised Learner.