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Joy Felt

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

Last week, while Jami's teachers were rolling out the DIG framework to all of their students in Willamina, I was leading a group of school administrators in Australia through their own DIG experience, what we called the Down Under DIG.

Another experiment.

In five days, could we take a group of administrators who had come to visit Dayton a year before, through an experience that allowed them to each deeply feel something that they had sensed when they visited the school?

Could they feel joy from a learning journey? Not just a small joy, but something powerful, something that, once felt, could not be unfelt? Something we know to be the Essence of Agile.

We have had a hard time Explaining Joy. But we know it can be experienced in a way that empowers learning.

To guide others, we created Designed InGenuity (DIG) as a learning framework, one that can be shared through a simple pattern language.

There are three primary parts of this experience. It starts with preparation for the DIG, where the purpose, the team (called a 'learning pod') and the areas of exploration are defined. From there, the learners are launched and encouraged to following their curiosity – to learn both about the areas they are exploring, but also about themselves as they integrate their own personal interests.

Their commission in this journey is to uncover something that delights them, and then to create something that they can use to tell the story about this discovery in a way that might inspire the wonder of others.

Along the way, each of the Australian educators found themselves struggling in what they described as a 'learning pit', not knowing how to make sense of all that they were exploring. But, as they shared their struggles with each other, they drew strength, building resilience until they each had their own Eureka Moments when the pieces of their puzzle all fell together.

From there they went on to make the most amazing creations to tell this story of discovery to the other members of their learning pod. These creations were all completely different – each reflecting an important insight about themselves that gave their learning personal meaning.

And there was joy. Real joy.

Joy that touches the very nature of our humanity and is the source of why we learn – for we are all called to be meaning makers and it is from fulfilling that mission that our brilliance shines forth.

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