Tuesday, July 04, 2006

More about painful learning

Thanks to Harold Jarche for commenting on my post about the pain of learning, and pointing to Mark Oehlert's post about the pain of change. Although Mark's is a short-sweet-and-to-the-point post that doesn't go into great depth, some interesting points are made. I was interested in two of the points particularly, namely:

  • Behaviourism doesn't work, and
  • Humanism is overrated.
My own experience tends to bear this out. Both those approaches seem to me to be somewhat patronising, and the adult learner at any rate is neither motivated nor engaged that way. People learn for many of the same reasons they give up smoking, go on diet or start exercising. They want to do it for themselves, because they have identified that it would be the better off for it. They have to believe that the pain/discomfort/inconvenience/withdrawal symptoms are going to be worth it in the end.

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