Teaching Smart vs. not LO13708

Hal Croasmun (blt@eden.com)
Fri, 23 May 1997 06:52:45 -0500

[Arbitrarily linked to LO13697 by your host...]

I've followed this thread with great interest. I keep wondering how much
of a factor motivation plays in learning experiences.

I've noticed that there are people in every company who have adopted the
"learn from everything" paradigm. They are the ones who are constantly
looking for 'what's next?' and 'what can I learn from this situation?'
Many people on this discussion list fit this description. We want to
learn from these discussions to better prepare for the future.

Somewhere along the way, we adopted beliefs, ideals and the internal
motivation to cause us to continually want to learn more. Somewhere we
began to see that what we learned today could prepare us for tomorrow and
increase our success in the future. Didn't we?

It seems that this is one of the key components of learning. We believe
that what we learn today will benefit us tomorrow.

I have a nephew named Randall who has been declared to be "learning
disabled". He does very poorly in school and has difficulty learning any
of the standard subjects. Randall has been told he can't learn and
believes it.

Last Christmas, Randall and his friend Mike both received Nintendo games.
Neither had ever played them before and so the contest was even to begin
with. Randall decided he wanted to be better than Mike at one thing and
this was it.

He played the game every day and was really excited about it. Within a
week, he had mastered all the levels of his favorite game and showed Mike
and I how well he played.

I was amazed. This "learning disabled" boy had mapped out each level and
could tell you every single pitfall and where every single treasure was.
His reactions were lightning fast and he talked like a sports announcer as
he maneuvered through the maze. His memory was perfect.

In less than a week, he had memorized over 1000 pieces of information and
solved puzzles that left me baffled.


I believe it is because of the vision he had to be the best and that
included learning and solving whatever problems that game offered.

I know that a video game isn't the "real world", but in this case, it was
a learning environment that motivated this kid to learn at a faster and
more excited pace than he had his entire lifetime. In fact, the ratio
that I observed was 20 to 1 compared to his school work.

What this makes me do is wonder if there are applications for designing
workplaces to motivate people to want to learn. If we have the motivation
to continually learn from everything, can we design a workplace that
causes others to want to learn from everything also?

Looking forward to learning from your comments on this,

Hal Croasmun

BEYOND LEARNING : Influence in the Workplace
mailto:blt@eden.com : Developing Sales Mastery
http://www.beyondlearning.com : Improving Leadership Now!


Hal Croasmun <blt@eden.com>

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