Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 254

I was reading up on an interview that Daniel Pink did with Amy Azzam in the recent Educational Leadership.  During the interview, Pink shares thoughts on what makes learners actually want to learn.  One of the things Pink talks about is that when it comes to learners, we want those who are engaged, and truly invested in the learning process.

Pink mentions (and I wholeheartedly agree) that those learners who are compliant are no better off  than those who are defiant, when it comes to embracing learning.  In fact, the way I see it, both of these ends of the spectrum fully discourage learning.  The problem is, when learners are defiant, they are actively choosing not to learn by shutting down and shutting others out.  Those who are compliant do exactly the same thing, but in a slightly different way; they choose not to learn by never shutting anything or anyone out and simply doing everything that is asked.

How is being engaged different?  Quite simply, those who are engaged embrace learning, by thinking deeply about what should be shut down and why.  By monitoring their own learning pathways, engaged learners are not only passengers in a vehicle, but are controlling both the vehicle itself, and on a larger scale, the traffic that surrounds their thinking.

An engaged learner welcomes the opportunity to hear from different people and their perspectives, knowing that even if they come to different conclusions, they’re better off for having heard (and listened).  This is very different from compliance, because the engaged learner understands the importance of pushing back respectfully.  If we don’t question what we’re told, then how do we actually learn?

Whether young or old, all learners need to move through life as engaged participants.  At the same time, when we are sharing knowledge with potential learners we need to make sure that we share it in a way that can engage them, and when we sense defiance or compliance coming on, we have to stop and consider how we can move away from these and back towards high interest and high relevance.

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