learning-unlearning LO10133

Thomas P Benjamin (BENJAMIN@anand.nddb.ernet.in)
Mon, 23 Sep 1996 20:26:55 +0530

Ivan LO10106,Ben LO10118, Jack LO10122, to name a few have similar views
on what is unlearning. Each added a bit on the topic.

I had similar questions. I did not see much difference between learning,
unlearning or even innovation/discovery. The process of unlearning as
described by Prasad Kaipa and the process of helping learning by most good
trainers appear to be similar.

Similarly, say for instance, Alexander Fleming when he discovered
Pencillin, did he learn or unlearn? He discovered by learning something
and unlearning something. In the dialogue on this topic, I have found the
ladder of inference helpful - to understand and reflect on what is being
said here. I think Fleming discovered Pencillin because he was open to
what he saw.

In Extension education we use a phrase - seeing is believing. Isn't the
opposite true too? Believing is seeing.

Yet the action of fungus on bacteria existed for centuries. We don't know
how many before Fleming missed what he saw. The common belief before that
time was that fungus is worthless. What if that belief had blinded
Fleming. Fleming unlearnt about fungus and learnt about fungus.

I think the ladder of inference teaches this discipline for an enquiring
mind, be it a scientist or a manager- being sufficiently open to question
what we see and learn from it, instead of being led by our beliefs and not
learn from it.

The discipline probably develops the skills of detachment mixed with
devine discontentment.

Just loud thinking for whatever it is worth.


Thomas P Benjamin


"Thomas P Benjamin" <BENJAMIN@anand.nddb.ernet.in>

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