Where comes learning? LO20393

Fri, 15 Jan 1999 12:11:35 -0600

Where comes learning? From: Our Founding Discipline LO20353

In LO20353 John Gunkler wrote

> ....(snip).......... Many of the
>difficult questions posed on this list find answers, or at least find hope
>of creating answers, in the discipline of system dynamics. Other
>disciplines (chaos theory, general systems theory, analogies from
>biological and other sciences) have much to contribute -- but, at this
>early stage, I think system dynamics is the only one that comes close to
>providing real tools, structure, and the ability to handle complexity in
>an understandable way. The other disciplines provide analogies, language,
>creative ways of thinking about things -- but few solutions, few process
>descriptions, and little practical help.
>If we ever want to move "learning organizations" beyond being a Kaffee
>Klatch of opinions and musings toward a discipline that actually, itself,
>learns and accomplishes, I believe we must start by applying system
>dynamics principles to our problems and using system dynamics tools to
>help understand and solve them.

Greetings John and other LOer's

I responded to this comment in an earlier post, but I think I've
identified more clearly the issue I think I was stumbling over.

I think I need to distinguish between my "learning"/"knowing" and my
ability to communicate and study it with others. Let me describe what I

After I had been out of school for almost a decade, I decided to go back
and get a college education. One of my first classes was a course in
Physics. It was in that class that I first pondered the question, "How
did I learn about torque?" Was it through my experiences of life (life
experiments) that I learned, "It is easier to close a door by pushing at a
point further from the hinges rather than closer" or was it through this
college course where I learned a new language that gave "torque" a name
and expressed understanding in terms of force and mathematics?

My conclusion then was that I "learned" about torque before I knew its
name. That left my task in the course much less threatening than what I
originally thought it was. I had "learned" torque already; I just needed
to "learn" the language to describe it.

Since that time I have found it very useful to "teach" others with that in
mind. Letting them see that "learning" in many cases had already
occurred. Now they must learn a new language that will make it easier to
communicate what has been learned; this may serve as a foundation for
further learning.

I think it may be the statement, "...and little practical help" that I
trip over because I see those "other disciplines" as where most of my
"learning" occurred. But now may I move forward into learning the
language that will help me organize my thoughts and communicate to others.

Seeking to understand,



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