Shared Action Learning

Our project involves building a strong relationship with our co-researchers in order to give them the tools to become effective leaders in the community of Langrug.  The essence of Shared Action Learning (SAL), a perspective on project work at the CTPC developed by Scott Jiusto, Robert Hersh and Steve Taylor of WPI, lies in connections (Jiusto, Hersh, & Taylor, 2012).  The concept of Shared Action Learning involves working through a cycle of connecting, planning, acting, observing and reporting all while continuously reflecting, sharing and learning from one another.  All aspects of our project must involve connection in order to succeed in implementing SAL.  The backbone for the project will be accomplished first by developing a strong, cooperative team dynamic within our own project team.  Knowledge and advice will be acquired from our advisors as well as from our sponsor.  This knowledge will include a cultural context, Langrug’s informal communication networks and the role of the co-researchers.  We also believe that learning from past projects implemented in Langrug and Monwabisi Park will be crucial to our own project’s success.  Although we are not focusing on technical issues like some of the previous projects at the CTPC, the cultural and communicative issues that previous teams came across are still very relevant to our own research.

Once in Langrug, connections will be made through orientation activities with the co-researchers to gain a better understanding of their communication needs and the community dynamics in general.  We will also be talking to community members about the impact that different means of communication have had and would have on their lives and the upgrading of their informal settlement.  We can then plan our next actions to take alongside the co-researchers to alleviate some communication problems that exist within the community. This process of developing our project with the co-researchers ensures we are continuously learning from one another, tailoring our work to the needs of the community and implementing solutions that will be more likely to be sustainable. Once we make our observations from the community and determine our next appropriate action, we can then report our findings to our advisors, sponsors, other project groups and the community for further feedback.  This project is adamantly focused on social interactions, which fluctuate with culture and individuals themselves. Therefore, the basic structure we can apply in order to implement effective solutions is the SAL structure, which factors in flexibility and reflection.  In this way, our project can grow and breathe in ways that a rigid, mechanical project could not. This methodology will be crucial in developing the most effective co-researcher model for Langrug while providing the community and other stakeholders with a bridge to share information during the upgrading process.


Other Resources

Shared Action Learning (CTPC general explanation)