Posted by: arieliondotcom | September 22, 2009

The Bacon Garden: Growing a Learning Environment

There is something inherently wrong with writing a “plan” for innovation
because “you don’t know what you don’t know.” That’s a fundamental flaw in trying to design any learning environment. So you can’t foresee what connections others may make and may actually impede them in trying to set up the environment for others to connect (to information or each other).

When I “tweeted” the first line of the above on Twitter recently I received
the following from Alec Couros:

“@courosa: Planning 4 innovation akin 2 planning 4 creativity; can plan an
environment conducive, but not predict end.”

My response? I’d agree that only the environment for innovation can be
planned but even then you only plan an environment for what you know. You
may set up the learning environment garden for squash inhospitable for
growth of corn & the innovation of bacon is totally out of your ken

We need the “unplan”, a learning environment “garden” where any idea can grow and any connection made by those we’re sharing with, be it expected
squash, uncomfortable (for us) corn or unimaginable (to us) bacon.

As “teachers”/facilitators/guides, we can do our best to guide the
mainstream of what we understand to pass along what we’ve known and
experienced. If we ever hope to credential or grade we must do that.

But in knowledge sharing we must always be willing to get dirty &
uncomfortable. We must always be open to the elements of the unknown. We must allow for the almost supernatural growing process we can only hope to cultivate but never fully control or understand. And in the process you are always learning and growing as well and may end up harvesting from bacon plants before you know it.



  1. Show me a bacon plant in my lifetime, and I may in fact believe it to be made through a supernatural process.

  2. A guy named Thomas said the same thing about seeing the risen JESUS Alec. :0) Be careful what you wish for. But the real point is that you’re helping to plant that garden by breaking ground in the current Ed system. There’s no telling what innovations we (including you) can’t even conceive of now.

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