The Practice of Learning History: Local and Open System Approaches

robots on a shelf
Hilary Bradbury, George Roth, Margaret Gearty


The learning history is a practice of action research aimed at documenting notable results so that collaborative groups and networks may develop work further. The work was originally developed by George Roth at MIT in the context of organizational learning in an auto manufacturing plant. It was developed as a scholarly-practitioner contribution by Hilary Bradbury in her work with the Swedish environmental group, The Natural Step. Learning History has since been expanded with use of social media by Margaret Gearty.  All three authors come together to offer a chapter to the Handbook of Action Research 2015. Here a short example is offered based on work in the healthcare context by Hilary Bradbury.  The Learning History powerpoint slides also suggest how the learning history can be used to convene nurses across hospital systems for collaborative learning. For more information contact Hilary at


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