Unlearning LO14742

Richard C. Holloway (learnshops@thresholds.com)
Mon, 25 Aug 1997 08:50:11 -0700

Replying to LO14734 --

Graham wrote:
> Simon wrote
> > As such, it surprises and worries me a little to so seldom see mention of
> > the importance of UNLEARNING on posts to this list. Without it, effective
> > personal and organizational transformation cannot take place successfully.
> > In unstructured environments where managerial control and understanding is
> > absent- attitude is paramount.
> >
> > Unlearning is a pre-requisite to progress and learning- "free your mind
> > and the rest will follow", as the vast majority of people in South Africa
> > will tell you!
> The problem is a constant theme through the posts, I think. I am very
> interested in this because of my interest in indoctrination.
> Just speculating, I think that unlearning often requires learning,
> particularly learning not to worry too much about fear and confusion, and
> learning to step out of one's comfort zone. Thinking of your case, I also
> think it probably involves learning how to look for help, to experiment
> and seek out alternatives, when we are stumped.

I don't understand "unlearning." Indeed, I'm still learning about
learning--sort of a double loop activity that fills much of my time. If I
believe something, or act a certain way, based on lessons I've learned in
my past--and I need to change my behavior or actions (I'm supposing that
this is the basis for unlearning), then must I unlearn the lessons (as one
must untie the rope to avoid cutting it!). Or do I learn something more
profound, more attractive, than the old lesson? (Here I'm thinking of
Fritz' concept of an oscillating structure being replaced by a resolving

Anyway--if you don't mind tutoring--please someone explain unlearning and
its' relationship to learning.


Richard C. "Doc" Holloway
Thresholds--Human Development and Networking for Learning Organizations
LearnShops--supporting your training strategies at

"The most serious weakness in American business is the flaw in corporate governance that permits the CEO to escape strict accountability and to cling to power despite gross failures of leadership." -Stanley Hiller, Jr.

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