With all the thinking about self-directed learning and learned helplessness of learning lately, I can’t help to think that curiosity needs to be turned back on.
Somewhere between 4th and 8th grade formal education turned the switch of curiosity off to create the expectation that information is delivered to you. There’s a few anomalies to this phenomenon, but they’re few and far between.
It got me thinking about how people get complacent in their job. They get comfortable and stop trying to learn new things. New things are learned only when somebody tells you to or there’s a new job you have your eye one.
That’s not good enough.
Just like the time to develop your professional network is not when you’re looking for work. It’s not time to learn something new only when somebody tells you to.
Those that are the most helpless to learn for themselves are also the one’s who have shut themselves off from the world of learning. Or at least they have a firm belief that the only place for learning is a place where someone is teaching you.
So, how do you reach those people with the valuable information that learning is the work and the work is learning? I see a lot of great information out there from a lot of smart people, the problem is that it’s going to people who are already interested in learning and growing.
How do we reach the one’s who have already shut themselves off? They only look internally within their organization and department. They’ve shut themselves off and willingly put themselves in a silo.
Some of the smartest L&D minds are on Twitter and in blogs, the problem is they aren’t reaching the one’s who need it most, those that have learned to be the most helpless in learning. The audience they’re reaching is already trying working to change things, an audience who is already seeking more answer and more information.
How do they reach an audience who isn’t looking for help but needs help the most?
How do you convince those that believe learning only takes place in a classroom otherwise?
I’m always mulling these questions and I’m looking forward to having discussions about them tomorrow on #chat2lrn. Everybody in the discussion will be in the same state of mind that learning is life, so nobody who needs to be reached will be reached, but that doesn’t make the discussion any less important.
Even if we can’t figure out quite yet how to reach beyond those few willing to be curious, I’m confident some great conversations will happen around the things we can do to create those small changes that matter.
The biggest challenge in a L&D persons career is how to turn that natural curiosity back on in a person who has no interest in being reached. Take the Learned Helplessness of Learning and turn it back into the natural curiosity that everyone’s born with!
I’m looking forward to having a discussion with you and hope you leave a comment here as well.