Who wants to "learn"? LO6551

Terri Deems (tdeems@unlgrad1.unl.edu)
Tue, 9 Apr 1996 18:44:22 -0500 (CDT)

Replying to LO6526 --

Kent G wrote, "if a lack of connection with the joys and values of learning is
such a big problem, why are we all on this list? why is it that the folks i
> meet in my organization and peer organizations are nearly 100% actively
> engaged in learning, and know they are? are we really quashing a love of
> and motivation for learning early on in schools, as seems to be the
> assumption, or is something else going on? I think we might be finding a
> devil to point a finger at here (the school system), i.e., blaming, rather
> than uncovering new ground.

I think it's not that schools, generally speaking, are deadening a
love of, and motivation for, learning, but a love of and motivation
for formal, organized learning. Even children who move through our
school systems in a daze can be seen excitedly learning through their
play in the backyard. That is part of our human essence--to learn,
which to me means not simply how we come to know the world, but also
how we come to know our experience of the world, how we make meaning
of ourselves and Others. We are constant learners--tacitly,
incidentally, intuitively, as well as explicitly.

Some of the "blame" does, I think, belong on the school systems
insofar as many schools contribute to systems and processes which serve to
separate our intellect from our emotion, curiosity, and
expressiveness. I find this to be a large part of people's having a
generally depressive view of traditional, organized or formal learning

We can say the same for our workplaces as well, can't we? And we do
learn from such traditional systems of hierarchy, power, and received
knowing--we learn helplessness, caution, second-guessing,
reactiveness, etc. We learn to separate ourselves, disconnect
ourselves within certain contexts (work, school) from our more natural

Perhaps, then, we need to direct our attention equally to "how" people
learn as well as towards "what" we are teaching by way of how we
organize and structure work, schooling, etc. This seems to be much of
the essence of the learning organization. By "creating" learning
organizations, I think we are not so much creating something that is
"new," but attempting more to understand those conditions that are most
conducive to a natural way of being. I feel like I'm not presenting
this at all well--perhaps someone else out there can?

Terri Deems


tdeems@unlgrad1.unl.edu (Terri Deems)

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>