Relearn to unlearn to learn again

I’ve been obsessed by methods for years, but lately I’ve been thinking about frameworks. Maybe I’m fatigued by prolonged immersion in the method stream?1 Methods don’t concern me that much anymore; they can be learnt, borrowed, invented or outsourced.

You can master the methods to build a car, but why build another car in the context of climate change, natural resource depletion and congestion? By changing the frameworks underpinning the methods – in a 21st century context – the question then becomes: how do we adapt our methods to build new kinds of cars?

But where do our frameworks come from? Do we choose them or are they learned? Can we unlearn or relearn behaviours that are rooted deeply?

I worked in a higher education digital context for awhile where the academics discussed pedagogy a lot. I remember someone saying, ‘to unlearn something you have to learn it again’. That made sense to me.

For example, I taught myself to play the classical guitar when I was 15. A few years later I had formal lessons and corrected some of my earlier learning. I still play, but there are areas where I continue to struggle.

So I ask myself, do I practice until I get it right (method), or do I go back and revisit the theory (framework) before I practice again?

Applied to ourselves, this approach offers transformative implications.

  1. The method stream is the accumulated flow of ‘how to’ information via all the digital channels that I plug into.