A cybernetics framework to analyse the relationships between ‘actions/activities and understandings’ and vice-versa for holistic learning considering risks
In today’s complex world with rapid growth of information mainly due to internet, approaches to learning have once again taken center stage. Acting leads to a rich understanding due to unique and enormous possibilities that exist in the environment. This is one of the learning. The other learning is that we get from applying the understanding to be used for acting. According to Ranulph Glanville, these two learning’s can be described as linear causalities and when these two learning’s are conjoined in a circular fashion it can be described as circular causality where acting is dependent on understanding and understanding is dependent on acting and there is a learning when moved from one to the other. However, there is risk to one’s learning. We believe that not having holistic learning is a risk. So what can be described as holistic learning is explored.
Is holistic learning equal to map of learning’s? Learning’s that we get from reaching a goal and those we get from not reaching a goal. Is it holistic learning, when the variety of all learning’s of the object world matches the variety of learning’s in the mind world. Is holistic learning more than the sum of the parts: parts’ being learning’s from variety of acting and variety of understanding? Is holistic learning, the circular conjoining of learning’s from acting to understanding and understanding to acting? Is holistic learning a journey and not an end by itself?
Correct understanding is necessary but not sufficient to complete the goal. We need correct acting as well. Wrong actions/misunderstandings may lead to loss of time, money or other undesirable outcome. Occurrence of positive feedback loop resulting from incorrect understanding and incorrect acting reinforcing each other in a circular way may be a bigger risk in reaching a goal. There is learning when the goal is reached and there is also learning in not reaching a goal.
Also explored on how the relationships between acting and understanding can be explained using commute principle, cybernetics circular causality and foreground-background approach.
In this paper, We propose a cybernetic framework that can describe linear causalities in terms of “Actions/Activities to Learning’s/Understandings(A2LU)”, “Learning’s/Understandings to Activities/Actions(LU2A)”, “Activities/Actions to Understanding/Learning’s(A2UL)” and “Understanding/Learning’s to Actions/Activities(UL2A)” with them forming spiral conjoining to gain holistic learning when actions performed and understandings applied taking risks also into account. The framework basing on X-matrix is implemented using Microsoft Excel. The four quadrants of X-matrix based framework are Actions/Activities, Learning’s/Understandings, Activities/ Actions and Understanding/Learning’s in a clockwise direction labeling them as first, second, third and fourth quadrants respectively. The framework will be useful for explorations, testing of the previous understanding’s/Learning’s, analyze the relationships between ‘actions/activities and understandings’ and vice-versa and it can customized to suit various explorations with an emphasis on iteration, reflection and change.