University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Reflections on a Socratic Approach to Engagement

Bagshaw, Mike (2014) Reflections on a Socratic Approach to Engagement. Industrial and Commercial Training, 46 (7). pp. 357-363. ISSN 0019-7858

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to enhance involvement in the learning process in order that students are active co-creators in their learning, developing their capability for proactive change. Design/methodology/approach – Action inquiry (Torbert, 2004). This involves simultaneously conducting action and inquiry in a systematic way. Findings – Engagement is a “contact sport” in which complex problems can only be solved by the development of social collaboration where the authors are able to share knowledge and assumptions and co-create together. This requires that groups go through a development process. Research limitations/implications – The main limitation is the bias and social influence of the tutor/trainer in the process of developing deeper dialogue. Research needs to explore how the “leader” is able to limit their own bias whilst facilitating development through the stages of dialogue development. Practical implications – Most training and teaching assumes that the teacher/trainer has expertise to pass on. This implies that they have the answer to problems being explored. Increasingly the authors need to facilitate the collective creativity of groups to solve complex problems for which the facilitator does not have the answer. This requires a different mindset and “felt-sense”. Social implications – To solve complex problems the authors need to develop collective communication capacities, and shift from a focus on personal ego to thinking together in a spirit of learning and inquiry. Originality/value – To date there has been little reported that helps facilitators in education and training practically to develop the facilitative and design skills to create learning spaces where groups think together in a non-defensive and generative way. This paper is a step in that direction.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: engagement, coaching, action inquiry, facilitation, reflection in action, Socratic dialogue
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Michael Bagshaw
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2019 07:18
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:30

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