Unseen learning in learning

London Fighting Monkey workshop October 2018.

“Let’s do coordinations,” Linda said.

Linda proceeded to show a new coordination inviting us to try.

From the first moment all of us where lost… if I can say so for the group.

This is the moment I always look forward to, while at the same time something in me hates this moment.

It is this moment between the first showing and my first try.

It is in this moment that lot can be seen.

From the inside out of course I observe what is being shown.

There is however another loop of observation: I can observe my observing.

I observe what is shown, while at the same time I can observe the fact that I observe.

Within this there is a lot of information, and not all of it can be taken at once.

It is part of the unseen within my experience of that particular universe of learning something new.

And we almost never look at it, while within that moment are to be found the secrets to many of our challenges.

There is a valuable insight to it when the teacher has both the nerve and the energy reserve to not explain everything to those present by step-by-step explicit instruction.

It’s also more vulnerable. The teacher could very well make it clear within minutes that he knows more and can do more than the others. It is an easy ego-fix that many teachers fall for.

However it cheats all of those present from a crucial element of the learning process.

The more I observe myself observing in those moments, the more I feel like a cheater when I feel like I know something after someone told it to me, after reading pages and pages of books without taking my own notes and actively thinking about it.

I have started to become very alert when I am being “clever” or am around “clever” people.

Can we really say someone is “learned” when you did not digest it for yourself?

It reminds me of the feeling I had when my teachers in economics school, who had never started their own business, gave long lectures about how markets work.

There was only a certain part of them that was talking, not their whole being.

So what then, makes learning learning?