1 Narratives – a story using a timeline to structure events, situations, interactions and achievements
2 Diagrams – using a timeline to structure events, situations, interactions and achievements
3 Diagrams – using the ecological framework to identify the elements of an ecology of practice A) List B) Narrative
4 Diagrams that seek to show the dynamics of an ecology of practice as a snapshot
“We do not learn from experience we learn from reflecting on experience”(John Dewey - 1 p.78)
Mapping, analyzing and visualizing our own experiences is a learning process in its own right and research indicates that it is more beneficial to articulate, codify and analyse our experience than accumulating similar additional experiences (2). What is learned through refection can lead to enhanced performance through increased self-efficacy (2) i.e. the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the course of action required to manage prospective situations.
The process of making a map becomes a powerful prompt for reflecting on our experiences enabling us to inquire into how, why, when, where we are learning and what we have learnt and created. A set of questions to aid reflection, based on the heuristic, is provided in Appendix 1.
An ecology of practice map is not only a checklist of the actions undertaken to achieve particular goals. Its purpose is to reveal the way the maker deliberately and imaginatively wove together and accessed the affordances in their environment, the ideas, resources, contexts, relationships, spaces and places to learn, perform and create new value.
Once codified, we can mine our experience to learn from it and improve our own practices with questions like: ‘What have I discovered through assembling (or re-visiting) this ecology which should make more effective in the future that I have been in the past”? Or, more metacognitively, how could I improve the assembling of an ecology like this one to make it more effective for me? (John Cowan in providing me with feedback on this guide).
1 Dewey J. (1933) How We Think. Boston, MA: D. C. Heath and Co
2 Stefano G. D., Gino, F., Pisano G.P., Stats B.R. (2016) Making Experience Count: The role of reflection in individual learning Working Paper 14-093 Harvard Business School
Here are some examples of the visual representations I experimented with.
1 Using a timeline to organise activity and interactions
2 Using a timeline to organise the elements of an EoP. I experimented with the idea of a day in my life
3 Drawing a picture as a synthesis in this case about 5 weeks of activity
5 Using the heuristic with a narrative