5 Years of the Purple Learning Project and making me obsolete

DSC_1252Tomorrow marks 5 since I registered the Purple Learning Project. Many people have questioned why I have different projects and identities. I guess for me it has always been a balance between supporting people within the current system and leaving a legacy of methods behind for long term change.

When I set up The Homework Club 7 and half years ago, it was about creating the perfect school environment to achieve success for a wide variety of students. It was my own optimum environment. I spent 2 years studying the impacts of our approach and analysing what was different to the traditional school environments. My early notebooks are full of these observations. Very quickly I realised that we created strong more balanced individuals who were able to continue to do well in the not so perfect environments because of the time they spent with us. This brought me on to new ways of thinking. What factors does each different type of person need to feel the best version of themselves?

If I was, to sum up, the last 5 years of research into the umbrella of the Purple Learning Project, it is the study of these elements for each personality. For me an understanding of the overlap between how each person processes the world around them and the relationship this has with their personality. The environment is no longer an obstacle. They should be bale to reach their best potential regardless. I have also become specifically interested in the learning and personality factors for each type of learning difficulty and developed learning programmes to optimise these conditions. For me, it has been about developing programmes that can be done within the home environment.

5 years ago, I remember one particular meeting of many I had around that time as I sought to explain my work to people and find others to align with. The person who was head of a prominent support organisation turned to me and said: “So you wish to make yourself obsolete?”. I replied yes and gave myself a 10-year deadline to achieve this goal. The next 5 years of the Purple Learning Project will be about taking the “me factor” out of my work in order to make the methods and systems I have developed as widely accessible internationally.

I still strive for everyone to feel that they can be literate regardless of learning challenges.

I won’t lie, it’s been a lonely journey at times so far and I still don’t feel that I have met the right people to align with my vision. If I study the paths of people who have gone before me, this is often the hardest parts of their journeys. Sometimes simply finding people who get you, who you can trust and who give you an objective view of yourself can make a huge difference. It’s very hard to be objective within your own head!

Naoisé O’Reilly.