Creating a Passion for Learning LO17453

Christian Giroux (
Wed, 18 Mar 1998 11:55:21 -0500

Replying to LO17442 --

Steve Eskow explains why he does believe that learners cannot
learn on their own.

I'd like to provide an example, and Steve, tell me what you

(Note: I like Rick's definition of learning..."knowledge is
capacity for effective action; learning is an increase in knowledge.")

In my house, I got a fireplace with a steel screen to prevent the
burning wood to fall off on the floor. When there is a fire in there, the
screen becomes hot enough, if you leave your hand on it for more than a
second you get badly burnt.

I also have kids, now 6 and 3 years old. Both of them, about when
they started to crawl around and discover the world, made the same awful
experience of touching the hot screen, burning their hand (don't worry,
people, a few days later there was no physical mark left). Neither kid
touched the screen again while there was a fire burning.

Based on Rick's definition above, they seemed to know that the hot
screen would hurt them, since they took the effective action of not
touching it again...

Steve, isn't that a case where learner learnt by him/herself,
without the help from "mother, sibling or neighbor" ?

I realize this might just be an exception to the rule, and I agree
that the vast majority of knowledge is usually acquired through others, in
society. I'm not sure, though, that because teaching (in a very wide
sense) is the preferred way for human being to learn it is the only one...


Christian Giroux, Manager, Operational Development - PU WIN Applications Ericsson Research Inc. Montrial


Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>