Dixie Darr

The Definition of Learning

In Learning, Lent - Season of Change on March 10, 2017 at 9:32 am

Lent – Season of Change, Day 9

I’m not going to change my mind,” a student once told me. It was a research class and I was trying to get him to examine the other side of some issue about which he had a firm and definite opinion. I didn’t really care whether or not he changed his mind. I simply thought he should look at both sides before reaching a conclusion. Clearly, he disagreed.

Changing your mind,” I said, “is kind of the definition of learning.” He remained defiant. He was one of those adult students who go to college not for an education, but for a degree. I recognized the type because I had been one myself, returning to college to complete my degree at age 29, until I surprised myself by realizing that I was actually learning something. Quite a lot, actually.

As Edward de Bono, famed physician, psychologist, author, inventor, said, “If you never change your mind, why have one?”

Maybe we should all regularly take out a firmly held belief and shake it up to see if anything new falls out. It couldn’t hurt could it? To quote former baseball manager Earl Weaver, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”


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