Inspiration trumps information

At Learning Technologies 2014, Reed Learning were giving out copies of The Little Book of Inspiration. Here is my contribution:

You don’t have to be inspired to learn, but it certainly helps.
One of the principal goals of any sort of course is to inspire the learner about the subject – to make them care about leadership, health and safety, anti-money laundering, troubleshooting a piece of equipment, the company for whom they work, or whatever the subject is.
Without inspired learners, the best you can hope for is a grudging compliance, another tick in the box. And when it comes to effective performance in the workplace, it is doubtful whether this will be enough to achieve your objective.
In Daniel Pink’s book Drive, he talks about three intrinsic human motivators – a sense of autonomy, a desire for mastery and a sense of purpose and inspiration is the result of all three of these motivators firing at once.
Teachers and trainers would do well to look at their priorities. Focus on imparting high volumes of abstract information and all you will achieve is a demotivated, befuddled group of learners. Concentrate on inspiring them, and they will go seek out the knowledge for themselves.

Inspirational teachers and trainers can change the world. In an age of ubiquitous internet access from mobile devices, those that are more intent on showing how much they know, will soon be surplus to requirements.

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