Like most students, I find that between university, my job and my personal life, I have little spare time. As of late, the majority of this time has been dedicated to watching episode after episode of Suits. It is perhaps not surprising then that the minute I began reading Argyris' (1991) theories on single and double loop learning all it reminded me of was my favourite character of the show - Harvey Spector.
For those of you that don't watch Suits, Harvey is an arrogant, intelligent, skilful lawyer who thinks he can win every case he takes on. Argyris (1991) notes that highly skilled professionals like this are prone to single-loop learning - solving problems (like legal cases) in the external environment (the court) without any inward questioning or reflection. Because people like this are confident in their own abilities and rarely fail, Argyris believes they do not - and perhaps cannot - learn from their failures. Certainly I can see this attitude in both Harvey and people I've encountered in real life: those that see failure as a weakness rather than a learning experience, and choose to protect their ego over improving themselves.
In my own group, I feel that this style of learning is evident in some respects, along with double-loop learning. While engaged in a team meeting it is mostly single-loop: identifying problems with our recent MikesBikes performance and coming up with ways to fix them. It is not until we are on our own that we begin to engage in double-loop learning, the main form of which I would consider to be these journals, which are a platform for all the 'why?' questions we each silently harbour thought-out group meetings. For example, "Why did we assume playing with shares was a bad thing?" "Why didn't we consider the other ways to raise factory capacity aside from buying more plant?".
While Argyris's article has merits, in all honesty I feel a little overwhelmed by theory at this point in the course. I am all about reflection and structure, but at some point I don't want to relate an author's views to my team functioning, I simply want to reflect on my own thoughts and musings during the week. Look at this journal entry, how does this relate to Daudelin? The truth? It doesn't. Because after 7 weeks of using her framework I've decided to try something different. This week I don't want to confine my thoughts to a four stage process, it can seem awfully restrictive and black and white in comparison to a course that is anything but.
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4-15