Blog Post

Jay Cross wants no more learners

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 15 March 2009



Jay Cross wants no more learners
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 105
Posted DateSunday 15 March 2009 21:13 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

Take a look and see what you think of this three-and-a-half minute rant about leveling the preacher-and-congregation model of learning from Jay Cross. I of course love it as you will recognize that is what my knowledge cafes are about. You can hear the story here of how I started the knowledge cafes in response to death-by-powerpoint presentations.

But also read the comments on Jays post. Some people do not agree with him. But note Jay is not saying that we need to get totally away from the teacher-student model of learning more that we need to shift the balance. Jay himself is in preach mode in delivering the rant and I am sure he was well aware of it. My Knowledge cafes also have a chalk-and-talk component.

And the comments about the road sign metaphor - its not that we need no road signs or no rules of the road but we need more balance. People need guidance at times but by and large we are quite capable of think for ourselves. Once again it is about balance.

What horrifies me is the "sit-and-git" style of teaching taken to extremes. Like the young Chinese woman in Norway who explained to me that when she was a little girl in China, she and the rest of her class were made to sit in nice neat rows and to actually sit on their hands to discourage them from fidgeting; heads up, chests out, facing the front of the class and be talked at! It seems they were not even allowed to ask questions!

Which reminds of one of my favorite quotes:
The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.
Let's go kindle some fires in each other :-)

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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