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Stephen C. Calhoun

SquareONE | Experiential Tool Makers

Featured on October 16, 2013


In Stephen’s view, experiential learning’s roots track back to the practical daily empiricism that defined the ability of our upright ancestors to recall, refine, and often replace, no longer workable practices.   

Scroll ahead. The roles of practitioner, philosopher of, and perpetual student about, experiential learning, converge in Stephen’s playful outlook and work. His work focuses on animating exploratory praxis in the engagement with eager learners–in groups, or one-on-one.  

Many times spontaneous or intentional experiential learning are informed, sometimes decisively, by novelty, luck, or serendipity.  These aspects are at the center of his experiential tools. His original and innovative tools make room for lucky accidents. The names of his tools suggest this element of good fortune: Grab Bag, Hunting and Gathering, The Play of Opposites, Moving Shapes, The Spontaneous Mandala, Approach-A-Tron.

His principal research aim is to better understand constructive fortuity, strategic serendipity, and pseudo-serendipity, in adult development and adult learning. Also, as a visual artist and musician, generative, stochastic, and self-organizing procedures are central to his creative process.

A (Gregory) Batesonian, his ‘home frame’ is a phenomenologically-minded cybernetics. His current philosophical provocations are concerned with figuring out the opportunities dynamically entangled in collaborative dialog about informal learning systems and meta-systems. 

Above all, Stephen is someone who likes to play around in the moment with daring learners. His goal remains: “exciting learning through play.”