10 Unlearning Items

In my travels the other day, I stumbled across this great post on Weblogg-ed about the "unlearning curve." In it Will Richardson outlines a list of ten things that any person trying to figure out how to move education forward in a systemic way needs to “unlearn.”

In reviewing Will's excellent list, is easy to see that these “unlearning” items also parallel many of the educational experiences we offer in libraries. All you need to do is substitute a few nouns and stretch the concept of the classroom to the library’s learning environment and there’s a lot of great food for thought here ...

  • We need to unlearn the idea that we are the sole content experts in the classroom, because we can now connect our kids to people who know far more than we do about the material we’re teaching.

  • We need to unlearn the premise that we know more than our kids, because in many cases, they can now be our teachers as well.

  • We need to unlearn the idea that learning itself is an event. In this day and age, it is a continual process.

  • We need to unlearn the strategy that collaborative work inside the classroom is enough and understand that cooperating with students from around the globe can teach relevant and powerful negotiation and team-building skills.

  • We need to unlearn the idea that every student needs to learn the same content when really what they need to learn is how to self-direct their own learning.

  • We need to unlearn the notion that our students don’t need to see and understand how we ourselves learn.

  • We need to unlearn our fear of putting ourselves and our students “out there” for we’ve proven we can do it in safe, relevant and effective ways.

  • We need to unlearn the practice that teaches all students at the same pace. Is it any wonder why so many of our students love to play online games where they move forward at their own pace?

  • We need to unlearn the idea that we can teach our students to be literate in this world by continually blocking and filtering access to the sites and experiences they need our help to navigate.

  • We need to unlearn the premise that real change can happen just by rethinking what happens inside the school walls and understand that education is now a community undertaking on many different levels.
Read the full post, “The Steep Unlearning Curve

I’ve bolded my three favorites, what’s yours?

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