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....and many other thoughts about facilitation, coaching ( teams & individuals) and learning


  • David

What makes one learn better than others? (.. more..)

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

I have another insight on the topic from a book called 这样思考,人生就不一样 written by外山滋比古 in 1983. In the first chapter, it makes an analogy of ‘gilder’ vs ‘airplane’ – they both fly but the former cannot fly independently like the latter. It argues that the education systems in the world in today’s world somehow produce ‘gilder’ rather than ‘airplane’. When people think of learning, most will only think of being taught something in the classroom. This then limit how effective one can learn after they leave the education system.

Why so? First, in order to be scalable, most education systems offer standard ‘solution’ by nature. As such, the systems somehow reward ‘gilder’ rather than ‘airplane’. On the other hand, the education systems are too ‘nice’ as they ‘push’ education to the students.

The author contrasts the nowadays education systems with the apprentice system in the old societies e.g. Kung Fu skills, Cooking skills. In the latter case, the apprentice had to work his / her way in order to impress the master to teach him / her. In the beginning, they often had to simply do housework for the masters. They would ask themselves ‘Why doesn’t the master teach me anything?’ Some would then even resort to ‘stealing’ the knowledge – they will learn by whatever way possible.

The author argues that such period of misfortune actually ignited their learning desire, which would then make them learn better. ‘Not teaching’ in fact helps people learn. In other words, the abundance of learning opportunity these days is somehow harmful to learning! How interesting!

The above echoes my view on the importance of learning desire in learning effectiveness.

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