What is Unlearning LO10255

Virginia I. Shafer (vshafer@azstarnet.com)
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 22:36:02 -0700 (MST)

Replying to LO10244 --


You wrote:

>We try to fit the organization onto the Procrustean bed of our theories.
>Rarely do we see this "resistance" as
>an occasion to re-examine our theories. To me, that re-examination of our
>theory, of what we "know" to be true, of what we have "learned," is what
>unlearning is all about...

How wonderfully phrased!! For me, the "re-examining" of current beliefs
and the values and principles those beliefs are grounded in, is the
essence of "unlearning." It's very deliberate and more than learning
something new to put on top of what was known before--like overwriting a
disk. It's a process of going back over what was "known" before and
consciously throwing out (not forgetting, but reprioritizing) the
perceptions/understandings that are no longer consistent with new
perceptions/understandings. The result is new learning, but the process
entails rehashing/revisiting what one thought they knew before to
determine if this IS something new or the same old stuff rephrased. It's
a thinking process and I guess for many that can only mean learning. But
I somehow still make a distinction between learning something new--like
learning how to make pottery or speak French (of which I know
nothing)--and the unlearning of an old habit or thought pattern. There's
a prerequisite of prior knowledge when I speak of unlearning.


Ginger Shafer
The Leadership Dimension
"Bringing Leadership to Life"


vshafer@azstarnet.com (Virginia I. Shafer)

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