Unblocking our ability to learn LO22687

Fri, 17 Sep 1999 10:45:13 EDT

Replying to LO22677 --

In a message dated 99-09-17 10:05:11 EDT, you write:

>So, what works? I think it always comes down to inidividual
>encouragement, mentoring, coaching, and undoing the harmful messages of
>the past that have convinced an individual that learning will produce
>either something negative or no positive results. Most people have a
>great fear of looking foolish in public, and publicly failing as a
>learner goes back to early childhood. If those messages and fears are
>deeply entrenched, it will take a lot of work and many years to make much
>of a dent. The person who associates learning with emotional pain is not
>highly motivated to pursue it.

I think what Vana is sharing here is tremendously important.

A very personal issue for myself.

I don't know what will work for others, but I can tell you what worked for
me. I was one of those people who had mental models of stupidity. I grew
up with the feedback, and pardon my language, of being "numbnuts,
shithead, or peckerhead". Those words described my past self concept.
Unconsciously I sought to that level. I did next to nothing in school.
Actually, I never read a book until I was 20 and at that point was
functionaly illiterate. Took me literally hours to finish a few pages.

What changed things for me was someone who believed in me. Someone who
made it their "personal mission"... as Vana so noted previously.

Some of my most cherished memories are of those people that took the time
to show me I was more than what I thought I was. I never would have
imagined at the age of 19, working as a dishwasher, that I would later
become a chef. I eventually went to college and then on to graduate school
in cognitive science.

I can still remember what it felt like to have my undergrad advisor highly
suggest a Ph.D. program. I almost wanted to argue it away. But he cared
enough to keep reinforcing me.

So... what worked for me was people who cared enough to believe in me when
I didn't know how to.

Please never under estimate the power to care about people.

Thanks Vana!




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