Inducing realizations

When we're presenting, authoring, teaching or designing instruction, we're relying on a field-tested theory about learning. We may assume that the only things coming to the minds of the learner are from us. We may otherwise assume we're competing with many other things that come to their minds besides what we're presenting.

When we assume we're in control of what comes to learners' minds, we're inclined to think that we can make learning happen. We've simplified our world view to include so few variables that we're overconfident about our role in the complex interdependencies. We presume to educate by delivering to, imposing on, coercing the internal processes and manipulating the outcomes from the minds of the learners.

When we assume the learners' minds are out of our control, we're open to the possibility that learning happens emergently. We've complicated our world view to include complex adaptive systems, ecological models and adaptive outcomes. We've gained a different perspective on our role in the system. We're one more pea in the pod, bozo on the bus or drop in the bucket. We presume to educate when we do what it takes for learning to happen on it's own and to come about naturally. We stop trying to make learning happen and then let it happen by trusting the complex processes involved in the minds of the learners. For the past two decades, I've been calling this approach "inducing realizations".

One way to induce realizations in the minds of the learners is to contrast two approaches. For instance, I've just compared "making learning happen" with "letting learning happen". This breaks up the assumption that there is only one way to function, react or decide about how to proceed. It "voices a choice" that may not been previously considered. It may induce added complexity to educators' cognitive networks which routinely respond to situations which call for presentations or instructional designs. It implies that more will come to their minds than what I've just put into it by reading this. I'm assuming readers will come to your own realizations about the significance, uses and value of this choice within their personal contexts. They'll  make up their mind as they're so inclined. Perhaps some learning will happen.

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