What can we learn from Charlie Brown and Peanuts? 

On a recent trip to Santa Rosa in California, I was one of the very many who discovered the Charles Shultz museum.

Charles (Sparky) Shultz has touched everyones lives. From my parents generation to my youngest child. If you were like me, you grew up with Charlie Brown, the round faced person everyone could associate with, and his dog Snoopy, named after Charles’s own dog Spike. And of course the rest of the gang, Lucy, Linus, Woodstock, Sally, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Pigpen, Franklin, and Rerun, they all had quirks and brought their unique perspectives on life to the strip.

Sparky Schultz said in 1999:

“Children do not converse. They say things. They ask, they tell, and they talk, but they know nothing of one of the great joys in life, conversation. Then, along about twelve, give or take a year on either side, two young people sitting on their bicycles near a front porch on a summer evening begin to talk about others that they know, and conversation is discovered. Some confuse conversation with talking, of course, and go on for the rest of their lives, never stopping, boring others with meaningless chatter and complaints. But real conversation includes asking questions, and asking the right ones before it’s too late.”

David A. Kolb (born 1939) is an educational theorist whose interests and publications focus on experiential learning, the individual and social change, career development, and executive and professional education.

In the 70’s along with Roger Fry they wrote the concept of the Experiential Learning Module which has become the defacto standard for how we learn during an experience.

In a book written with Ann Baker and Patricia Jensen called Conversational Learning  they  assert that business conversations can be seen as social experiences through which we discover new ways of seeing the world, destroying the barriers between us. When this occurs, new knowledge can emerge or be developed. How can people learn from their differences, rather than be divided by them? One way is by creating conversational spaces–areas where conversation occurs.

The book is available on Google books


For some time I have been on about Learning Conversations as a learning model. Never more than now is the time to combine the Social media everyone is so desperate to use in learning with the experiential learning model we know works so well. The art of directing conversation is a new art of Conversational Instructional Design. The methods to deliver this conversation require our ability to record the conversation and act upon it, (for mLearning see   Phone2Know and look at Performance support) or as a mentor or coach direct a conversation to enable learning.

Charlie Brown and the ‘gang’ spent their whole lives talking to each other, in each strip someone learns something and at every point they are having and gaining new experiences.

I wonder how it would have been to have had Charles Shultz and David Kolb working together?

It tells me one more time, if we want to learn new ideas and gain new experiences we must have more conversations.

Let’s talk!