Re: Definition of Learning LO1004

Dr. Ivan Blanco (BLANCO@BU4090.BARRY.EDU)
Mon, 1 May 1995 13:56:36 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO851 --

> Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 20:58:47 GMT
> From: (Michael McMaster)
> Replying to LO831 --
> Ivan, not so fast ... we've been in a system of supression of the
> "natural" for so long that many of us accept it and our resignation to
> it. For instance, I once went into a smelter and, in the course of my own
> learning, asked someone working there where the metal went that he was
> loading into little box cars that went under a curtain into a different
> part of the plant and what happened to it after it left here. He said, "I
> have no idea." I asked how long he'd been working at this same job and he
> answered, "seven years."

Michael, I totally agree with here. We are all product of the system we
live in. The difference is that some of us are weird enough (or lucky
enough) to question basic assumptions, etc. You see it in the case of the
worker you mentioned; in the students who put up with almost anything they
get from the system; in the new students' eyes when they are introduced to
the class design I use; in the employees who tend to conform to old rules,
even after being told that it is Ok not to; and so many different cases.
Robert Lynch discusses this very well in a brief article ("Shedding the
Shackles of Georger Patton, Henry Ford, and First-Grade Teachers," Quality
Progress, April 1991). Edward Deming talked about this in different
ocasions. He said that many things used to reward people in all forms of
organizations have really killed that natural curiosity and intelligence
of people. IN a handout that he distributed in a speech at Western
Connecticut Univeristy he said "One is born with intrinsic motivation,
self-steem, dignity. He inherits joy in work, joy in learning. These
attributes are high at the beginning of life but are gradually crushed by
the forces of destruction...." Among other things, Deming included as
forces of destruction grades in school, merit system, incentive pay, MBO,

> In many cases there is more historical or cultural background work to do -
> or something which is an interruption of the customary flow of things -
> before that natural figuring out of context occurs.
> --
> Mike McMaster <>
> "Intelligence is an underlying organisational principle
> of the universe. The 'logos principle' is hidden and
> perceptible only to the intelligence." Heraclitus
I am a believer that there is a effective and efficient way to
change behaviors, and that is change the system, the rules of the game...
Organizational learning becomes a very difficult task, if not an impossible
one if we try to do it with the "shacles" still on people!


R. IVAN BLANCO, Ph.D. Voice 305 899-3515
Assoc. Prof. & Director Fax 305 892-6412
International Business Programs
Andreas School of Business _________E-Mail Addresses________
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Miami Shores, FL 33161-6695 Internet:
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"Las naciones marchan hacia el termino de su grandeza, con
el mismo paso que camina su educacion." "The nations march
toward their greatness at the same pace as their educational
systems evolve." Simon Bolivar