This course will become read-only in the near future. Tell us at if that is a problem.

The Presentation

I'll create a Powerpoint slide show with images and words to convey my ideas for the 30 minute talk by 10/7 and get feedback from the group.

The conference has limited us to 5 slides--it does focus the mind!

I am trying to tell a story about key relationships in learning, and how they change in a DIY model, with different archetypes. Please let me know if anything's not clear. I am struggling with the learner-self relationship. Basically I think in a model learning journey people emerge with a new definition of themselves, but they have to struggle along the way--something like Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. 

Here's my proposed outline: 


Mobility Shift

From DIYU to DIWT (Doing it With Others)…Learning in relationship and community

Why DIY U?


Ok, so the traditional structure is too cumbersome--what's essential? 


1.     Learner<->Teacher

The Guru-The Coach-The Librarian

In Indian culture, a person without a guru or a teacher (acharya) was once looked down on as an orphan or unfortunate one. The word anatha in Sanskrit means "the one without a teacher."

Poet Kabir: Guru and God both appear before me. To whom should I prostrate?

I bow before Guru who introduced God to me.[22]

the Upanishads (c. 2000 BC). The term Upanishad derives from the Sanskrit words upa (near), ni (down) and şad (to sit) — "sitting down near" a spiritual teacher to receive instruction. (all, Wikipedia)

The Coach: Atul Gawande, "Personal Best," the New Yorker: "The concept of a coach is slippery. Coaches are not teachers, but they teach. They’re not your boss—in professional tennis, golf, and skating, the athlete hires and fires the coach—but they can be bossy. They don’t even have to be good at the sport. The famous Olympic gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi couldn’t do a split if his life depended on it. Mainly, they observe, they judge, and they guide. Coaches are like editors, another slippery invention."

Coaches are for mastery.

Read more

2.     Learner<->Peer

The Friend-The Near-Peer-The Other

The chevruta


Make a teacher for yourself and acquire yourself a friend. Judge everyone favorably. Mishna, Pirkei Avot 1:6

Hevrutah study is the traditional Jewish practice of learning with a partner. Partners take turns reading a text aloud then embark on a journey of exploration and discussion, often including the views of commentators in the dialogue. They share reactions, formulate insights and partake in an exchange of ideas that encourages freedom of expression and stimulates creative thinking.

The word hevrutah comes from the same Hebrew root as haver, “friend” and havurah, “community of friends”. Your hevrutah is your study partner and learning in this way often leads to a special friendship. Hevrutah is usually done in pairs but can be expanded to small groups.

Unlike traditional frontal learning where wisdom emanates from the teacher, in hevrutah the two partners form an interactive, creative. teaching/learning unit. In this way each partner taps into innate wisdom and discovers they are indeed teacher as well as student.

Avoid debating. The aim of hevrutah is not to determine who is correct rather its value lies in building on differences so as to create novel and meaningful insights. In practical terms this requires that the word and is used instead of but.  The word but negates, the word and includes.

       3.   Learner <->Self

The Struggle-The Redefinition-The Triumph

Reb Zalman Schacter-Shalomi "Sometimes I am my own rebbe."

Task Discussion