Educ: Knowing vs Doing LO7104

Mariann Jelinek (
Wed, 1 May 1996 13:45:35 -0400

Replying to LO6999 --

Ivan and Charlie Holdener were part of this fascinating dialog on
education, and both of them share some of my biases about how I'd like
education to be:
About learning, and applying that learning to doing;
About self-directed learning to a large extent, with profs and
teachers "infecting" students with a sense of excitement about learning,
and about their own potency because as students they can not only know the
answers, but use them to understand the world better and use the world to
improve the answers (or toss 'em, if they don't work).
My end-of-the-term comments from several students included
statements about how much they felt they'd learned - because they did
self-directed bonus projects to follow their own interests at my
instigation; because they'd found articles in the WSJ and other current
business press about the cases we'd discussed, or the concepts in the
reading. It is all to easy to miss those links (there were a lot of
students that I did NOT hear from this way, and at least some of those
undoubtedly didn't write because they didn't feel they'd learned a lot, or
weren't especially excited about what they took from my class).
Now, what I'd like to hear more of, is how you-all think we can
shift the educational culture, starting in our own classrooms, from the
passive-learning, learning's-irrelevant-to-doing, boring to the excited
and active engagement that is such a turn-on. I would like to find better
ways to ignite self-directed learning - better ways to capture more of the
students I see and infect them with a sense of their own responsibility
for learning and the excitement of truly being in charge, even in the
midst of a class where (I hope) the instructor has done a good bit of work
to craft an experience that seems relevant and up-to-date, the content and
theory apropos for managers, etc. Say on, fellows: we've identified (once
again) the sweet spot we need to hit, now how do we hit it more


Mariann Jelinek
Richard C. Kraemer Professor of Business
Graduate School of Business,
College of William and Mary,
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Tel. (804) 221-2882 FAX: (804) 229-6135
The only enduring strategic advantage is the ability
to change the rules of the game.

-- (Mariann Jelinek)

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