As I've come to understand the dynamics of unconscious learning this year, I have a better understanding of my own love of learning. It's something I learned to love unconsciously. We cannot make ourselves love learning any more than we can follow a plan to fall in love. A love of learning emerges from experiences that provide the opposite context from those that breed "no learning":
- We learn to pay attention because it's rewarding in a context of contributing to interesting conversations, adding another viewpoint that's appreciated and making a difference that gets respected.
- We learn to look attentive when there's an opportunity to participate because we've learned from past experiences that we get admired, validated and encouraged to learn more when we join in.
- We learn to value intrinsic rewards over "carrots dangled on a stick" because they play into our self motivation, self-satisfaction and further self- explorations.
- We learn to respect and appreciate those instructors who get us to think deeper, to challenge our preconceptions and to delve into realms we would not have explored on our own.
- We learn from peer pressure to understand things enough to explain them to others, to reason through puzzling occurrences and to formulate better questions to be asking ourselves.
- We learn to open our minds to gain new insights, to unlearn what we previously understood and build a new basis for feeling confident.
- We learn to sense when new information seems useful to know, practical to do, or essential to solve current problems -- and commit it to long term memory.
- We learn to complain about bogus instruction that merely covers the material and makes learning seem like a chore -- to maintain our love of authentic learning.
- We learn to appreciate valuable instruction that inspires us to reflect on our understanding, wonder about alternatives and explore unfamiliar realms - to experience our ongoing love for learning in action.
On the other hand, it seems very likely that a love for learning would emerge when each individual was on a path of personal discoveries, as we are in gameplay learning and utilizing our PLE's.