| Von Glasersfeld's answers - September 2006  |


Dear Professor Von Glasersfeld
I had the opportunity to study after my degree Mathematics Didactics in
1991 under Professor Piet Humand and Alwyn Olivier at the University of
Stellenbosch, South Africa. The developed in line with other the
so-called Problem Centred Learning approach to Mathematics education in
South Africa in the 1980s. Their work was based on socio-constructivism
and the work of Jean Piaget. Your thinking and ideas were often quoted in
lectures and in papers.
These ideas opened a whole new world for me on how people learn
and construct new knowledge and also the challenge to create rich
learning contexts or learning opportunities for learners.
I taught for 4 years in a high school (Mathematics and Science), for 5
years in adult education (teaching mathematics to adults with less than 9
years of schooling) and eventually got involved in broader adult education
in impoverished coastal communities in South Africa as part of poverty
relief projects from our government. Here our focus changed to educating
people about sustainable communities, looking at the social, economic and
environmental aspects of these communities.
I got involved in Holistic Management and realised what was missing in living
harmoniously with people and nature. I just finished the two year certified educator
course to teach/facilitate Holistic Management.
Now my question(s):
* Holistic Management requires some real paradigm shifts. This
means that people cannot "see" the new insights easily in
terms of their existing knowledge. Based on constructivist
learning and the distinction between knowledge types, what will
the best way(s) to help me teach Holistic Management to other
people (children, adults). I guess that most of the knowledge
will fit under the "Empirical Knowledge" type. If you are
interested, I can give you examples of what I mean by "key
insights" etc.
* Within the Holistic Management movement we also lack a
underlying learning theory that can help us to understand and
create high quality learning experiences. What does the best
consultants and lecturers in the world do to create rich, long
lasting learning experiences.(I think of well known people like
Peter Senge) This is especially complex because we work in a
"holistic" way. Any help will be appreciated.
Best wishes
Jozua Lambrechts
Sel/Cell: 083 310 1940
E-pos/E-mail: jozua@websurf.co.za
Dear Mr. Lambrechts,
I'm afraid I have never heard of "holistic management" and
from your letter it is not really clear to me what it is and what it
I have occasionally written about learning and you will find
several papers on that topic if you look through my bibliography at
http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/EvG/ . I would suggest you
download the paper # 082, "Learning as constructive activity",
available at that web site. If you have questions after you have read
it, I'll try to answer them
Best Wishes,
Ernst von Glasersfeld




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