Action Learning: Spanning Unforetold Boundaries of Communication
Without the development and reflection of communication capabilities, students leave academic institutions ill-prepared to understand how “their implicit assumptions, beliefs, attitudes, preferences, and organizational interests influence their thinking, decisions and actions.” This article recommends the use of action learning coupled with a pragma-dialectical approach to debate in order to expand students’ boundary spanning communications and to develop necessary competencies to address real problems and issues. Building upon Revans’ (1998) sketches of action learning and Mumford’s alternative conceptualization, students: (a) regard the parameters of learning as continuous, (b) understand the urgency with which taken-for-granted communication practices are addressed through reflection, and (c) accept the transformation that occurs when individual and group communications are enhanced.
Keywords: Communication, Action Learning, Debate, Boundary Spanning
Dr. Diane M. Kimoto
Assistant Professor, School of Public and Nonprofit Administration, Grand Valley State University