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Single and double-loop learning

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Robin says he is looking for more info about open and closed loop learning. I believe the terms were called "single and double loop" rather than "open and closed," but what the heck. Same diff. The originators were Chris Argyris and Donald Schon, who wrote a book called Theory in Practice: Increasing Professional Effectiveness.

To explain these fully would require a long post, and I personally am intimidated by huge blocks of print on web discussions. Let us just say that the distinction has to do with changing the premise of the learning, as Bob Barnes has done when he advises us to consider the "value" expressed by the turn. Is it to change direction or to slow down. Those who use the turn to slow down and then work to perfect that technique would be engaged in single loop learning. Those who examine the value that predicates the outcome in the turn would be engaged in double loop learning.

The application is often human relations, as in the example where I might have the value of being a team player. In this case, I would support the team even when I disagree with its direction, focus, or execution. Being teamed up takes precedence over getting results, so I would redouble my efforts to be an even better team player. The results would probably still be suboptimal. But if I changed the value for being on the team to "creating a radical improvement in customer service" my actions would deviate markedly from the actions involved in the single loop situation.
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

I don't know if you have seen this article: http://hyperchangecafe.com/whitepapers/doubleloop.htm

For a view of the dichotomy from a P.E. standpoint, see also: http://hyperchangecafe.com/whitepapers/twokinds.htm

Horst Abraham uses the terms adaptive and technical learning to distinguish between the two. He charges that our profession approaches the task of teaching as strictly technical (increasing precision performance) and is almost completely oblivious to the hefty adaptive component in motor learning. Our ignorance of the adaptive challenges in learning makes us less than optimal as teachers.

[ April 23, 2002, 09:42 AM: Message edited by: nolobolono ]
post #3 of 4
Thanks nolo!
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Our group has another resource along these lines, called Performance and Learning Goals: http://www.paragoncoaching.com/pub/r...rninggoals.pdf
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