An S-O-Ler is someone who has learned how to put S-O-L into practice. They have learned to take responsibility for developing their own systems of personal Meaning; and to thoroughly test these: both in terms of the quality and effectiveness of the Actions they can achieve and the exact nature of Perceptual feedback these Actions appear to produce.
Many of such actions are called Skills. But many, just as skilful activities go un-named and even un-recognised. For some of these MAP activities; the meaning, the action and the perception of the results go on completely within the S-O-Ler.
For others the meaning in the head uses actions by the body to produce consequences in the outside world, which are perceived by the many senses of the body to provide feedback to the source of the meaning.
We have found it incredibly productive in our research projects to always keep this hierarchically organised system of MAP activities in mind.
In our description of S-O-L which is summarised in the four diagrams above, we have described how the MAP cycle enables the S-O-Ler to understand how they can make a personal learning contract (PLC) with themselves; and how the three dialogues enable the S-O-Ler to challenge their personal robots and so achieve levels of personal competence which they had previously accepted to be beyond them.
We have also explained how the S-O-Ler uses the idea of hierarchies of meaning (and hence of MAPs) to break down a PLC into what they discover are achievable parts, which can then be sequentially re-assembled into the achievement of the complete PLC.
It is useful to see the process of becoming a S-O-Ler in three stages; the first two of which we will describe here and the last of which will become more understandable after you have been introduced to the idea of a S-O-L Coach.
The 3 diagrams above trace the process of developing a PLC, then on becoming a task-focused S-O-Ler who is progressively able to successively carry through a series of PLCs which together increase their ability to take on a specific role or job in a manner that is not only more satisfying for the budding S-O-Ler but is also better for their colleagues and those responsible for how effectively they fulfil the particular role they have taken on.
Finally, up to this point;
The third diagram indicates what is often the third stage of becoming a more complete S-O-Ler. Having consciously realised that they had become much better and insightful at learning what they really need to know, to do, to understand and to appreciate; they begin to recognise that they are much better at learning. They then begin to realise that the very process of learning itself, depends upon a set of second level skills specifically related to the very process of learning itself. We have labelled this as the process of learning-to-learn.
No matter what the nature of activity was that we were enabling people to personally improve, the MAP description of the process and all that follows from this has been surprisingly revealing, both to us and even more so to our intending S-O-Lers. To give but three examples.
This has been true forth intending S-O-Lers who were members of a national confectionery manufacturers taste panel, Royal Navy non-commissioned officers who were training in the Brecon Beacon hills and student teachers learning to conduct a rugby training session.
Successful S-O-Lers value the insights offered by the MAP view of the activity. They use it to reveal to themselves insights into their increasing ability to learn whilst they live, and to live as they learn and how this gradually develops and expands. They value it for the experience itself, and not as many of those in educational institutions do, for the value placed on the qualifications they are awarded.
As their Self-Organised Learning improves, so they become more and more able to live as they choose; using their own experience to the full, as well as what they can see and discover from their close collaboration with others, who whilst aiming to achieve similar development to themselves, reveal very different MAP resources being discovered on the way to achieving it.
Eventually they often discover unexpected ways of testing and improving what they learn. When, as is usually the case, our group of intending S-O-Lers are already well known to each other, their MAP insights often generate a greater degree of mutual support than had previously been the case. They become co-operative rather than competitive and all learn much more in the process.
Now whilst such co-operative support is found variously distributed within all the different forms of TCs occupations, be they infant schools to Post-Graduate research groups; or psycho-therapy units to prisons; the expert’s pre-occupation with the content of their expertise tends to leave them attributing the differences in their learners to inborn abilities, rather than approaching learning as an acquired set of skills.
At best the advice available is about making well organised notes, and how to listen and to ask content orientated questions.