Whole Person Learning

Whole Person Learning is a form of transformative learning that enables people to bring more of themselves to their lives, work and communities.

It works with all aspects of the person (intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual), the system they operate within, and the inter-relationship between them.

Whole Person Learning draws on, and has influenced and encouraged, a number of approaches, and is also an emergent approach.

We are engaged with the increasing interest and application of Whole Person Learning, and we are piloting new initiatives both in the UK and further afield to deepen our own understanding of it and how we practise it in our individual, group and organisational work.

Partners include global learning communities, businesses, health and social care networks, business schools, social housing organisations, government agencies, peer-based social enterprises and regional communities.

Sharing the Learning

In 2007 Oasis Press and the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative sponsored publication of Learning for Tomorrow, and in 2010 a second joint publication translated Whole Person Learning for business education and global companies, The Whole Person Learning in Action Manual. We are working on a joint publication with one of our business partners that offers their story of change including the role of Whole Person Learning in practice.

Our Whole Person Learning Inquiry

To develop our thinking and practice in relation to Whole Person Learning we decided to host a ‘by invitation’ Co-operative Inquiry process that began by offering preparation sessions from 2011, with the first of a series of week-long annual intensives in the summer of 2012 (facilitated by Barbara Langton). Since then the co-researchers have continued their individual and cluster-based inquiry processes, along with three intensive, self-managing research cycles.

One participant’s reflections:

The week has been an inner, rather than an outer journey. Three years ago the directors committed to offering the most radical research approach of co-operative inquiry to explore questions relating to Whole Person Learning.

Barbara Langton, who joined her first inquiry 20 years ago, was invited to join us from New Zealand to initiate the week. We could not have made a better choice. She is a woman who carries with ease and courage her body of knowledge through which I experienced a calm, courageous and fluid practice. A practice that enabled us to be free and creatively so, to engage in a number of learning and action cycles, and to be in the inevitable chaos we called ‘the soup’. This arose for us when the facilitator ‘de-roled’ and became a participant, and 17 people, many who are experienced facilitators and consultants, each faced stepping into their own power, with others. And thereby lies both the hope and the despair. Participative, distributed, dispersed, collaborative, peer-based leadership – call it what you like, it is not easy. At times it was irritating, frustrating, sickening, fearful, daunting, boring, energising, but always someone was PRESENT.

Find out more

To find out more about Whole Person Learning contact Cathy Neligan on 01937 541700 or use the contact form.