The hidden dynamic of not-learning and what you can do about it

If you haven't read the article: "It's hard but it is not hopeless... Filling the holes in your education" please go back and read it. And make sure you watch the video as well, all 10 minutes. Without that this article here will make absolutely no sense to you. This article builds on that article... like a house is built on a foundation. Clear? Now go back and read. Please.

This new course I am running on the fields of communication is probably more dramatic for me than for my students.

This is an experimental course, which means I am not teaching what I know, I am using the course to unfold aspects of the invisible. Things that cannot be seen from where I have been looking, or from where anyone is looking.

The second is rare, because the insight that comes from that is new in the world.

This is the kind of unfolding happened yesterday. Shook me to my core.

Let me start at the beginning:

It all began with my article yesterday about the holes in your foundation.

The school classes where you were daydreaming about playing outside, the homeworks you didn't do, the books that you didn't read.

Or capacities you never developed, like being able to direct your attention. Or "spin" several plates at the same time... which, to the best of my knowledge, I developed through playing cards with my parents and brother, or playing chess; games where you need to pay attention to 3-4-5 things at the same time. Or gymnastics where the you need to know where your legs are and how they look while you are working with the rest of your body. Or pantomime... wicked many things need to be observed and directed at the same time.

It is not multitasking. Multitasking is going from one activity to the other, switching. Doesn't develop multiple plate spinning ability.

How do you know that you have holes in your foundation, knowledge base or capacities missing?

It's simple. When something is taught to you you hear what is being said, but it doesn't quite land, doesn't quite gel into a coherent whole.

Now, play attention to this part, because this is what I discovered yesterday:

What you do then, when this happens will be more important for the rest of your life than anything else you can do.

First off: no one could guess what they should do.

are you teachable?So when we looked what they did do, what they do habitually, we found a few different attitudes. I am looking at it from the student's perspective, so "I" is the student in this list.

  • 1. I don't want to bother the nice teacher lady (that's me, lol) with questions, so I'll pretend that it's ok, even though I didn't get it.
  • 2. I will cry bloody murder, and say: I am not getting it.
  • 3. I'll say to myself: I must be really stupid... I must not ask questions, because I will be found out.

I am not even counting the people who never asked me to teach them... they are not in the course, lol.

Now, this is how the dynamic works in a teaching situation: the student says: I don't know, please teach me.
The teacher teaches... authoritatively, or not, they teach.
The student gets what they get, and don't get what they can't get.
The say "I don't get it" or stay quiet, depending on their habitual attitude.

The teacher has no idea what they didn't get, why they didn't get it, what they got what they didn't get.

"I don't get it" doesn't inform the teacher.

With the silence or the "I don't get it" an underlying belligerence gets activated, where now the teacher is the enemy.

And finally the dethroning of the teacher: you are no teacher!

Now, this doesn't get said, it is just there, in the "unsaid", like the dead rhino in the room...

Result: no real learning happened.

The student is disappointed. And the student is accusatory.

The teacher is heartbroken.

Teachers love to teach, and the reward for teaching is that you learn well what is being taught.

Being a teacher is a thankless job, because only a small percentage of the people ever learn from teaching... In our class I can count on one person to actually get what is being taught.

Why him? He has less holes in his education, and a track record to prove it.

Most of the people who come to me don't have a higher education that they use in their work, or no higher education at all. Having gone to school didn't necessarily give you an education.

Now what was that dramatic insight? I have told you, but I am sure you missed it: it was that the moment you don't get an answer to the questions you don't ask, the moment the teaching doesn't become learning for you without you having to do any work, you dethrone the teacher, and disqualify him or her from teaching you.

I didn't know that. And you didn't consciously know that. Your behavior was clue, or could have been.

I never suspected. I felt the animosity, but I didn't get that you think it is my fault that you don't get something. That you now consider me a bad teacher or no teacher at all.

Or that you are licking your wounds and consider yourself unteachable... a failure.

But you have no idea that there is something you could do, that would bridge teaching and learning and bring them together.

I will tell you in a minute what it is, but first I want to let you know, that I detect the same attitude on myself when I am the student: resignation and blame.

There have been many courses I wasn't getting all, or much. Or enough to be able to use the information given.

I always fantasized about telling the teacher what I did get, so they can see what I didn't... or what I misunderstood. But I NEVER DID IT.

Why? Because by this time I dethroned the teacher. I didn't trust them to be interested in me getting what they were giving me. No trust. No conversation. Wow.

So, as you see, this is most likely human nature... probably ego. Probably not willing to be vulnerable, or generous, or caring.

Because it is one thing to say: teach me, and another thing to say: I didn't get it all... because I probably have holes in my base knowledge, or because I probably misunderstood something.

That is real humility. And that is as rare as snowflakes in hell... Without teaching, no one would think to risk it.

At this point in time, muscle test says, no one has that level of humility.

I don't, either.

But there is hope... because now that it is unfolded, now that I can see what is the dynamic that fails me, the dynamic that doesn't allow me to ask intelligent questions, or ask intelligently for help, I can do something about it.

Now, whether you understand or not: that is another question. And even if you understand: whether you are humble enough to formulate intelligent questions: that is another question. And to help you with that, I'll offer you one method of ferreting out why you didn't get what you didn't get... and the method is "recreating". It's a technical term in communication.

You say back to the other person what you heard. So they can catch where is a hole, or where is a misunderstanding.

It is as if you turned around and try to teach the teacher... To a teacher who knows their stuff (not every teacher knows their stuff!) they will see where you took a wrong turn, or where you lost the thread for lack of knowledge.

And then they will give it to you, what you missed... you so can learn it. And make the teacher happy.

If you are humble to ask, that is.

Even though the course is still happening, you can buy the recordings of the course, and get help from me.

After the course finished, I may not be able to offer help: I'll probably forget what I taught... It happens all the time. I am just left with what I learned, which in the case of this course, is tremendous.

This, what I am writing about in this article, is worth many thousands of dollars to me, a year... and will pay it every year.

Email me if you want to buy the course. I will see if you have enough foundation to benefit from it... and if I find you do, I'll email you a payment link. Oh, it's $200. The course will be 10-20 maybe even 30 hours long. And if you get it, can be the difference between a life that is wasted, and a life that is well lived.

PS: I recommend Khan Academy to fill some holes in your education and capacities...

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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