Char of life-long learners LO5539

Scott R. Cypher (
Mon, 12 Feb 1996 03:51:25 -0400

Replying to LO5452 --

>A second thought: Would it be useful to see what maps across from
>individual to organization if we were to discuss the characteristics of
>teaching/learning models?
>Or from organization to culture it inhabits? Or from culture to ....?

I believe so. The following I would call independent variables, where
their "value" affects the dependent variable, learning. Teaching styles
would be based on these independent variables, optimized for a particular
set of constraints on each independent variable.

Active Construction: Learning is a building process. It is a conscious
action, unlike rote memorization or Pavlovial behaviorism. Think of it as
incubation time, when you cogitate about something; you are actively
building your knowledge base via

=Restructuring: reforming/revising our modules (form a new basis)
=Accretion:new knowledge is added to the cognitive framework (add a new basis)
=Tuned: refine existing knowledge to be more efficient (adapt a current basis)
(Norman, 1978)

A continuum of loose to high structured "lessons" the degree to which a
lesson is structured, organized, etc affects the degree to which an
individual can learn from it.

There are relationships of the learner (the focal point) to all other
factors; whether they be environmental, situational, applied,
experiential, historical, etc. The point is the learner is focal and has
the ultimate accountability for learning what they want to learn. This
dimension is tightly coupled to self-regulated and situational dimensions.

Regulation is controlling through making choices. Only the learner can
make the decision about what and how to learn. There is a range of
options on what and how to learn (ie. a university class, an
apprenticeship, an internship, a job, learn via teaching (Glasser, 1990).
If the learner does not make choice (making no choice is making a choice),
then the learner becomes "victim" to what or who-ever is the most
influential or easiest path to take.

There is a time sense/factor to learning; learning occurs over time and is
not instantaneous. There are trials and errors. THere is practice and
incubation time. Some say it takes 5000 hours of study/work to become an
expert at anything complex. (norman, 1978)

Extrinsic (goal oriented;rewarded) or Intrinsic (self-oriented; you find
the value of it in yourself)
All these other dimensions have strong ties to motivation; motivation is
central. If I don't have motivation within myself, I won't learn. Think
of motivation as being derived from your purpose. The purpose that drives
you to learn is the source of your motivation. All learning has purpose.
This ties closely to self regulation. It is more difficult for me to make
choices when I haven't acknowledged my purpose. Think of the situation
where you are driving with a map (choices) and haven't decided on your
destination (purpose). Without a destination, any road will get your

Situational: There are multiple sub-dimensions to situational.
I learn within an environment. I learn within a community and with others
and alone. I can choose between these situations for learning. I can
learn in a classroom, or via experience. There is my particular context I
exist within as an individual. I have to be able to acknowledge the
context of the teacher.
Think of this as the sun and leaves on a tree. The sun is the teacher,
providing the learner with essential things. It is a source of stability
and certainty (always rises, always sets), but I know there will be days it
won't be as bright as others (cloudy). As A leaf, I need what the teacher
gives, and I absorb it. I actively construct with what I receive and grow
much as a tree does. But without a source of light (whether it be a sun, a
lamp, or some other), the learner doesn't learn and will die. And without
a leave, or recipient of all the sun knows, the sun has no purpose. As a
sun, I can give and give and give, but without a willing recipient, all
that "giving" means nothing...Do I understand what the willing recipient
wants, and adapt what I give, and how I give it based on that?

>Why do I offer this? Because motivation implies a force from the
>outside - at least in my dictionaries, understanding of its
>historical roots, and common management language - even when we use
>it to talk about our internal motivation. We talk about motivating
>ourselves as though our selves and our motive force are separate.

I would agree that, in most discussions, there is a separation between
motive force and our soul. My belief is that those who feel helpless in
their lives, suffer from a social "attention deficiency disorder", or seek
reasons outside themselves for their current situation would state that
motivation is an outside force. Most JPF (just plain folk) texts I read
about motivation give a context where motivation is done to you, rather
than finding it in yourself. Only I can choose to be motivated, whether
that motivation be extrinsic (money, fame, fortune) or intrinsic
(self-worth, virtue, confidence, awareness). No one can make this choice
for me. In the teacher/learner model above, it only is applicable when
the student finds their motivation. The more the motivation is intrinsic,
the more essential the other links become.

You don't tug on superman's cape
you don't spit into the wind
you don't pull off that ol' long ranger
and you don't mess with around with Slim
Hmm, Hmmm Hmmmm, Hmm Hmm Humm

-- (Scott R. Cypher)

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