No. 562, March 5, 2007
A tip on learning with joy
Every Saturday my eight year old daughter and I do the weekly shopping. At the supermarkets in Sweden more and more people are scanning the articles themselves, so called self-scanning. Half a year or so ago my daughter asked what it was. I gave her a short explanation and also said it was nothing we were going to do. I saw in front of me a pile of problems in learning a new, presumably highly unintuitive system. I also realised that I would probably soon be faced by young friendly sales people who would try and persuade me to start using self-scanning. I knew they could never manage, no matter how friendly and charming they would be.
While I am unpacking all commodities by the cashier and then paying and re-packing them in 45 huge paper bags my daughter is watching an instruction film about self-scanning shown in the supermarket. She comes back and says that it is not at all difficult. Oh yes, I reassure her, it always looks much easier than it is in reality. Several of the following Saturdays my daughter looks at the film again. Finally she says: "I want us to try it. We can do it together. I know how to do it, I have seen it on the film."
Of course, this changes the scene completely. My beloved daughter wants to learn something new. Suddenly I have all the motivation in the world to try self-scanning.
It all proves to work out better than I had expected. Also, shopping has become easier in many ways, not the least because my daughter now scans every article with great care.
The moral is, of course, that we can learn anything whenever we are motivated. Love for a person or an idea can motivate us better than anything else. If we loved our schools and our work we would be much more motivated to change, to do home work, to use new technology and much more. But how do we get people to love their school and their work? At least in Sweden this could be the most constructive topic ever around the coffee table or in the classroom.
Creative regards! Jonas Himmelstrand
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