“The illiterate of the future are not those who can’t read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler
Human brains have the unfortunate proclivity to be controlled by our preconceived and misconceived notions, false assumptions and opinions.
A close inspection can help us unlearn so many of these problematic beliefs.
Unlearning creates open-mindedness, even wisdom, yet has not been fully incorporated as a learning tool, skill or strategy.
Unlearning is the process of realizing incorrect, ineffective, or obsolete information, behaviors and thinking.
Once we are able to admit our mistakes and intentionally shift our thinking we can then proceed to erase ineffectual misconceptions.
It is a process of exploration. It is the process of shifting from a belief to an adventurous paradigm shift.
Since myths blind us to reality, let’s examine a few prevailing myths.
Common vocabulary words like sunrise and sunset bind us to Copernican Earth centered interpretations of our place in Space.
The Guardian published a news report about four myths that unfortunately still prevail in homes and schools.
The first myth claims students will learn better if they are taught in a way that matches their preferred style of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic.) Over 93% of the teachers surveyed believed this though there is no evidence to support it. My experiences and current research demonstrate that we all need an integrated array of experiences for optimal learning.
The second myth, that people only use 10% of their brain, was also found to be prevalent among teachers … Complete nonsense.
The third myth, that the difference between the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere results in individual differences among learners, was believed by 91% of teachers. Also false. https://www.educationdevelopmenttrust.com/en-GB/our-research/our-research-library~/media/researched/red%20files/briefings/left-and-right-brain.pdf
The fourth myth from this article, playing brain-training games can help improve one’s memory, concentration, or intelligence is also unverified.
We can all practice intentional unlearning to obtain deeper understandings.
The first step towards enhanced wisdom is deeper than a thirst for knowledge. It is the intentional quest to question one’s beliefs and assumptions. Consistently challenging our understandings, observations, intuitions, assumptions is crucial.
Researching and discussing current findings with those who are competent in a particular field is a beginning to verifying evidence.
Being ready and grateful to being proven wrong is imperative.
The next important step is to take steps to develop creative and critical thinking.
Unlearning is required not only in educational institutions but also in workplaces. Everyone, irrespective of his/her profession, needs to unlearn as it is often the first step to greater understanding, even wisdom.