Detecting legacy narratives

Together in PLE 2.0, learners can diagnose why learning has stopped happening. Besides the previous five diagnoses we've already explored, there's the possibility of interference from a legacy narrative. We inherit stories from authority figures. We assume they know how the world works and how to get results. We trust them to be living their lives by a valid set of premises. We accept where they are coming from as a good thing. We become enrolled in their legacy narrative and ready to pass it on to yet another generation.

Here's some of the toxic legacy narratives that are easiest to detect:
  • Learning happens by getting taught. You won't get it right or get it at all if you try to teach this to yourself.
  • The best way to learn something is by getting taught it, not by teaching it to someone else.
  • The way you'll succeed with new knowledge is to receive it from an expert in that knowledge area, not some aspirant, newbie or amateur.
  • You'll really know something once you've been presented with it and passed a test on it, not when you can put it to the test in your practical use of it.
  • What you really need to know is what can be conveyed to you while you're seated: listening or reading, not when you're playing around or having fun with it.
  • If it's easy to learn it will be easily forgotten, and if it's an overwhelming burden to learn, it will stick with you for life.
  • Learning is a discipline that requires great rigor, not a natural process that flows from curiosity and intrinsic motivation.
All these narratives shut down self-directed learning. They invite us into a world where learning is elusive, difficult and dreaded. They tell a story about learning that obscures how PLE 2.0 could be effective, fulfilling, energizing and self-perpetuating.

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