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Learning Communities

Come if you will, to the weekly meeting of the School of Formation Team in Bath & Wells Diocese. You will be one in a sequence of people who have come to team meetings to speak about their work and their interests. It's one of the ways in which the team 'listen' to the life of the diocese and maintain an openness to other needs and concerns.

You will find that, before any business is discussed, one of the team will lead a time of reflection on a topic of their choice - books, newspapers, poetry, paintings, even recorded bird-song have all provided a stimulus in the past. It will start with a brief introduction and then everyone present will have an opportunity to reflect quietly on their own thoughts and experience before sharing them in the group. In an environment of this nature, one can be certain of being stimulated and challenged by new ideas shared from a variety of perspectives.

When the group moves on to the more formal agenda the next step is always to look back over recent events and to review, in an open and honest way, what has gone well and what could have been done better; in short, to learn from experience.

There is nothing very revolutionary about any of these concepts, but taken together, they create an ambience in which learning takes place naturally, almost instinctively. It happens by listening to a wide range of people and ideas, by creating space for personal reflection, and by reviewing past experience and when done in a the context of a community of people who know and trust each other, the processes are enhanced by a sharing of different perceptions from a range of perspectives. In short, a Learning Community.

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