What Are You Learning? Everything!

So I was asking the 4 y/o grandson James about school. It was early Thanksgiving Day afternoon as we drove together to go get his 3 cousins for some time at the park – before heading to their great-grandmother’s house – across town.

A little break for the parents scrambling to get ready – and a big break for me. They would soon be “all mine.”

I asked him what he was learning in school.

“Everything,” he replied.

Then some silence. But only for a moment.

Then he asked me, “did you know that two plus two equals four?”

“Yes, I do remember that,” I said.

I Couldn’t Stop Smiling

We drove for another 10-15 minutes to collect the cousins, all older than he. I kept glancing in the mirror back at him, sitting in his car seat, looking out the window.

He was telling me he knew we were headed to (Aunt) Jamie’s house – ’cause he was seeing this and that.

Those are landmarks I told him. They help us see if we are on the right road.

“Yes,” he replied. “They tell you where you are – and where you are going.”

Exactly What Do Adults Know – And What Do They Not Know?

A reasonable question, “do you know that 2+2=4?”

Especially from a 4-soon-to-be-5 year-old. With a teacher. Someone on some payroll at that school who is there to teach you.

And sometimes, I guess, you gotta believe that you are learning things from this person, because it’s stuff your parents don’t know. They – kids – don’t know that we’ve been there and done that – and so we do know that stuff already.

Or we think we do.

But on the other hand, not only do we think we know stuff, we believe that what we know is accurate. We often don’t even think that it is a possibility – that what we know – is sometimes just plain wrong.


So it would seem to also be a reasonable question for those of us a little bit older than he and his generation. To ask of ourselves “do we know” and “is that even right?”

How will his PKN serve him? What will he learn and will it be right?

Accurate? Complete? Appropriate?

Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

When I got home last night I was able to sit back on the sofa and scan Facebook and Twitter. And I saw this on Twitter:

Mark Sheppard @marklearns Really, CSTD? Why are we still promoting learning styles? RT@CSTDNational: Kolb Learning Styles ow.ly/ffTBK MT@guywwallace

And then the irony of it all struck me.

Everything You Know Is Wrong

Start with that premise. Even though that premise is wrong itself.

At least it’s a better starting point.

Double check – all of the time.

Because sometimes your PKN gives you bad stuff. Sometimes your Learning Landmarks – are not quite right.

Not deliberately. Quite inadvertently.

But still wrong – often enough – nonetheless – to keep you needing to continuously question yourself about what you know – and to challenge yourself – about whether or not it is truly correct. Yes, at some point, you can stop questioning yourself about things – one at a time. To be safe.

It’s Not Just This Group That’s Still Getting It Wrong About Stuff Like LS

If you “searched” online everyone of the Groups that are involved in Learning – and Performance Improvement for that matter (and they don’t always overlap) – with “Learning Styles” – then you become much more wary of them as a source.

I’ve written about Learning Styles before – using my PKN as my source. See that one year old article – here.

You Have Been Forwarned

“Trust, but verify,” is how one US President once put it.

Sound advice.

So I showed James how to verify that 2+3=5.

Using my fingers, while waiting at a stop light.

He then passed the 3+1 test before we pulled away.

# # #

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.