The Blended Learning Process
This learning model combines several instruction methods, including the modern application of learning theory, instruction, reinforcement, feedback, and teach-back components. It is a model which maximizes learning outcomes.
This method also blends all learning styles and assesses learning along the way. So, it doesn’t matter what type works best for you. This style works for visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. This method makes sure they achieve the learning goals. Several critical elements of this forum make it an ideal learning environment, including:
- Alternating movement with stillness
- Building meaningful partnerships and health community
- Focus on adding tools to your spiritual tool belt
- Time to normalize and practice new techniques
- Develop your path and help others
This strategy enables us to combine the preparatory exercises for multiple spiritual technologies. We keep the original integrity of the separate traditions intact. Feedback checks throughout the process ensure the learner is ready for the next step in the learning progression. Reinforcing what we learn throughout the process reduces many of the common issues with learning these tools. This process results in better learning outcomes.
Also, we all know the best way to ensure you know something is to teach it. So, we’ve built the opportunity to share and help others. It makes us all students and facilitators throughout the process. The more we learn, the more we can pass along. This process isn’t a new model. It follows an ancient pattern Joseph Campbell called The Hero’s Journey.
Keeping Ancient Traditions Intact
The blended learning process is a common thread we find in many ancient systems of knowledge. They may not have understood modern learning theory, but their systems often mirror this methodology. As such, we believe it is an effective learning forum. Also, one of the best ways to ensure you know something is to teach it back. So, we’ve built the opportunity to share and help others.
Another critical point is that we keep the integrity of traditions intact. We do not change the actual process. Feedback checks throughout the process ensure the learner is ready for the next step in the learning progression.
The Hero’s Journey
This learning process we’ve described isn’t a new model. However, it is probably one of the most effective. You might say that modern learning theory is simply recognizing this pattern in ancient methods. The early pioneers of consciousness may not have had all the learning tools we do today. They did not have video and recording devices. However, they blended the learning tools they did have. And, so the ways of teaching add more tools to the process. Not coincidentally, it follows an ancient pattern Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey.
“The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.” ―Joseph Campbell
Interestingly, we find this is a pattern at the heart of many spiritual philosophies and religions. It is also one that we mirror in our learning strategy. Although the pattern takes shape using different characters across many cultures, the story’s core elements remain the same. This story resonates with us deeply because it describes the visionary journey of our spiritual exploration.
The Hero’s Journey is a story with a pattern involving three main phases. These phases revolve, intertwine, and overlap at times. If we look closely, we’ll find this pattern in our own lives. This pattern cycles repeat over and over, again and again. This pattern fits well into our blended learning strategy. The three phases of this quest are awakening, transforming, and inspiring.
Phase One – Awakening
In the first phase, (Awakening) people meet in small-groups (weekly or semi-weekly) (and now virtually) to build a foundation of basic terminology, knowledge, experience, and meditative practices. We teach the benefits of using a journal to track our journey and experience, provide opportunities to learn several basic meditative practices, and participate in other small group learning exercises. In this phase, we identify our strengths. Then we learn how to leverage them in many ways. It’s the preparation phase enabling us to “ready” to learn more profound practices.
The advantages of using a blended learning model are evident from the beginning. Many people tell us they learn more in this awaking phase in a few short meetings than they learn in month-long seminars. Additionally, participants learn they are co-teachers and coaches. Helping each other reinforces learning and helps to overcome obstacles.
Phase Two – Transforming
The second phase (Transforming) is a weekend or virtual learning retreat. After we have a common foundation, we invite everyone to assist in the co-facilitation of a weekend retreat. Meeting for a weekend is essential for several reasons. First, we have found that learning several techniques that build sequentially is the best way to ensure learning. Logistically, it takes a weekend to adequately understand and practice this set of strategies that incorporate both seated and moving meditation. Learning the techniques in the morning, practice in the afternoon. This process ensures that the methods are learned to accommodate everyone’s learning style and abilities.
In the evenings, we have time to assimilate what we have learned, share, and celebrate. The weekend is a time for the emersion in deeper practice, which we rarely do in our modern lifestyles. The weekend experience is often described as “an oasis” from our hectic lives. We even take time to celebrate when using the virtual learning classroom. It’s a time to share our personal “stories,” re-charge our spiritual and physical bodies, encourage and be encouraged, be energized, and healed. The weekend goes by often too fast for most who want to stay and bask in the synergy and positive energy generated by so many involved in this noble aim.
Third Phase – Inspiring
The third phase (Inspiring) is the continued meeting of those who have been on the weekend. We continue building sharing, receiving help, and encouragement to help us overcome any personal roadblocks. We reach out and partner with other like-minded people and groups. It helps us follow through, develop, and establish our spiritual practices and further our spiritual exploration. It is the Hero’s Journey.
Above all, follow the desire to explore the mysteries of the inner world. It is one of the main reasons we are here. The existence of non-ordinary states of consciousness is proof that we should explore. It opens the door to experiences that are beyond the realm of the ordinary.
We provide a personal virtual learning event where you will receive four total hours of instruction. These sessions are tailored to meet your specific learning needs. Check out the curriculum and sign up.