Narrative Patterns and Exformative Design in Cooperative Learning

Format: Papers, RSD11, Topic: Culture & Society, Topic: Learning & Education, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Francis Laleman

independent writer, educationist, designer

Confronting legacies of oppression in education

Following up on the Brazilian educationist Paolo Freire’s call to liberate pedagogy from oppression (Freire, 1970), the present article proposes a new approach to the design and delivery of learning, no longer as an imposed curriculum of knowledge gathering and skills development, but as a systemic experience, lived in relationship with learning-nurturing communities. The “new normal of education” emerging from this exercise comprises strands of inspiration that reflect the broad interests and global lifestyle of the author—with elements from design theory and praxis, Japanese monasticism, Buddhist learning theory, cultural narratology, the post-romantic vision of Rabindranath Tagore, and much more. The educational design model appearing from the combination of these very different and culturally diverse elements is a hybrid, free-flowing framework ideally suited for systemic, organic, cooperative, and collaborative learning environments—challenging the systemic dualisms inherent in traditional teacher/student settings and other forms of societal and/or authoritative educational oppressions, of which Paolo Freire’s infamous “banking model” is only one.

KEYWORDS: systemic design, design for social innovation, confronting legacies of oppression, exformation, education, educational reform, design for change

Citation Data

Author(s): Francis Laleman
Year: 2022
Title: Narrative Patterns and Exformative Design in Cooperative Learning
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 143
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 22 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested citation format (APA)

Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

Publishing with RSD

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design are published online and include the contributions for each format.

Papers and presentations are entered into a single-blind peer-review process, meaning reviewers see the authors’ names but not vice versa. Reviewers consider the quality of the proposed contribution and whether it addresses topics of interest or raises relevant issues in systemic design. The review process provides feedback and possible suggestions for modifications.

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Editor: Cheryl May
Peter Jones
Ben Sweeting

The Scholars Spiral

In 2022, the Systemic Design Association adopted the scholars spiral—a cyclic non-hierarchical approach to advance scholarship—and in 2023, launched Contexts—The Systemic Design Journal. Together, the RSD symposia and Contexts support the vital emergence of supportive opportunities for scholars and practitioners to publish work in the interdisciplinary field of systemic design.

The Systemic Design Association's membership ethos is to co-create the socialization and support for all members to contribute their work, find feedback and collaboration where needed, and pursue their pathways toward research and practice outcomes that naturally build a vital design field for the future.


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