These are interconnected; people need to work from their own experiences or be given new experiences, at the same time these experiences need to be subject to serious reflection and open to challenge. We have to work with people‘s existing ideas in order to move forward. Failure to consider these elements can easily lead to resistance to change, because attitudes, beliefs and values act as a lens through which new ideas are judged (Korthagen et al., 2001). New ideas and initiatives, which do not fit into an individual’s existing way of thinking and doing, are likely to be found wanting and will be easily ignored (van Eekelen et al., 2006).
This is achieved through active participation in a cooperative and collaborative learning environment, learning through discovery and experience.
If we are serious about wanting to bring about change, participants need to experience different and alternative approaches to education.
Thus there are reflective webs of action-observation-debriefing-enquiry. These are intended to deepen learning through internalisation and personalisation.
Our approach means we are centered on the learner, working from their existing attitudes, beliefs, values and practices to move forward. We also recognise that people work in specific contexts, and that attempts to develop new practices have to be sensitive to the individual needs of participants. As such part of our approach is to empower participants to devise their own solutions to issues, rather than impose new ideas and practices.