Teaching Smart vs. not LO13562

C. Suzanne Deakins (sdeakins@teleport.com)
Fri, 9 May 1997 06:59:49 -0700 (PDT)

Replying to LO13541 --

At 00:15 5/8/97 -0400, you wrote:

Dear Michael Gort,

This was a terrific post examining the root of learning and non-learning.
Our systems of education , for the most part, tends to do just what is
happening to your son, kill out the excitement of learning. The Ah HA
when concepts are understood and vast quantities of unrelated materials
come together to form a whole in the individuals mind are non longer
present. Your Son's ability to learn "games and computers" is directly
related to an ability to gather knowledge and give it meaning within a
context that is exciting and rewarding to him internally. Learning, to be
useful (at all levels and with all people), must have context within the
persons life. The one exception to this is spiritual learning and then
the intrinsic values seem to satisfy other needs in the individual. But
more important knowledge as knowledge has little meaning. Your son is
right, what good is spelling a word correctly, if it has no meaning in the
context of his life.

After 25 years of teaching in corporations as well as universities, as the
" teacher" I see it as my challenge to bring the topic into a
relationship with the individuals in such a manner that something in their
consciousness is changed. Only a change in consciousness can bring about
a learning. Learning requires a different view, a different understanding
and a change of consciousness. Gathering knowledge requires only a good
memory or a certain type of place and recall memory. My goal in any
"teaching situation" is to awaken the internal teacher of each individual
so that they may teach themselves. How can my material possibly cover
each individuals intellectual and job related needs? But the basis of my
material if activated by each attendees internal teacher, can help them
grow as a conscious being. In teaching a course on letter writing (pretty
boring topic and only used by attendees occasionally) the challenge was to
change their view of not letter writing, but communication and
relationships. By teaching the interpersonal relationships involved with
communication on paper, and giving it context or possible context in their
work assignments, we actually ended up with more people attending the
ending classes than the beginning classes. The excitement and change of
consciousness did not come because they learned about letter writing, but
because they had turned on their internal teacher to learn more about
"relationships." A topic that has context in each of our lives. In the
process they learned about the principles of communication, thus being
able to apply this to not only letter writing, but story telling.

The joy of learning is never really killed out in the individuals (IMHO)
but rather put to sleep, and like gentle mothers as teachers, instructors,
we must learn to awaken this inner self in our charges. I look at
corporate education as I would educating the mentally and emotionally
challenged. This is not being sarcastic, but rather to know that they
have not been awakened to the excitement of learning.

Personally, I have never met a stupid or lazy person. I have only met
those people who are asleep to the beauty and opportunity that learning
offers them. People who have not been taught to use their beingness to
make themselves happy, competent, and more integrated internally through
learning. If we think of those who come to us as stupid (there have been
other posts on expectations) they will indeed remain stupid in our eyes,
for after all, to my way of thinking, all we are looking at is a large
mirror reflecting back to us our own consciousness.

Michael, your son John, may have a quirk about spelling. After all of
these years of education, I still can not spell. My 12 year old twins
often stand over my shoulder and correct my work. There seems to be some
type of disconnection between the sound of the word, my memory of the word
and being able to spell it. Only through "tricks" do I remember many
words. I suppose it is a type of dyslexia that is not easy to ascertain.

>Well there were only six spelling errors in my post. But then it was
shorter than yours!!!

Suzanne Deakins, Ph.,D.


"C. Suzanne Deakins" <sdeakins@teleport.com>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>