In branding higher learning, it’s out with the old school

GLobe higher learning article2

Caption: Einstein didn’t own a hairbrush either

Check out the Globe and Mail article by Simon Houpt ‘In branding higher learning, iti’s out with the old school’.  He talks a bit about work I did with one of our clients, Simon Fraser University.

I did a workshop with the student recruiters (the folks who go around the country and speak to highschool students) about 10 principles for powerful learning.

While we may admire ivory tower learning, when I ask my clients to recall an example of powerful learning they experienced as an adult in a group I can count on one hand how many times someone has recalled a university setting.

Despite this though we fall into tried but not true means of getting our point across.  In other words we talk.  A lot.

The next time you need to create some powerful learning think about these principles;

  1. Nix the banking method

Banks are good for stashing cash but they don’t work when it comes to learning.  What is traditionally known as the banking method is where the ‘expert’ pours their expertise into the empty vessel, known as the student.  As Don Tapscott puts it a lecture is where “the notes of the lecturer go through the notes of of the student without going through the brain of either.”

2.  Repeat after me…. amygdala

You’ve just said the Greek word for almond.  The Greeks named the parts of our brain and not yet knowing what these parts did, they named our amygdala that because they look like almonds.

When sensory information comes into our brain that’s the first place the information goes.  Our amygdala then decides if we’re safe, if we’re cool with what’s happening and if we’re okay.

If we’re good then the amygdala says great and shoves the information out the door into more sophisticated parts of our brain where higher processing happens (think critical thinking, reasoning, retention, creativity).

If it decides we’re not good then the gates clamp shut and the information goes no further.  Instead our bodies get ready to do the proverbial flight or fight routine.  Ain’t no higher processing happening.  Nada.  Niet.

Make friends with your amygdala and higher learning will result.

Stay tuned for future postings about more principles for powerful learning.

What does powerful learning mean to you?


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2 Responses to “In branding higher learning, it’s out with the old school”

  1. Sonya Emmons Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Great info I enjoy a few of the articles that have been written, and especially the comments posted! I am going to definately be visiting again!

  2. Matthew C. Kriner Says:
    February 8th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Oh My God, I don’t know how I missed this blog. Really informative, and some articles written here are really good. Hats off..

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