Posted in Inspiration

Bandler on Learning Disabilities

Excerpted from Using Your Brain for a Change, by Richard Bandler:

When I was asked to work for a school district, I had a few things I wanted to go after. One of them is the whole notion of “learning disabilities,” “minimal brain dysfunction'” “dyslexia,” or “educational handicaps.” Those are very important-sounding words, but what they all describe is that the teaching isn’t working.

I’d rather not describe failure that way. I’d rather think about it as a “teaching dysfunction,” and at least leave open the possibility that we can learn to change it. If we pretend that you can teach anyone anything, we’ll find out when it’s not “yet” true. But if we think that when someone isn’t learning it means they can’t be taught, no one will even try.

In the last century it was common knowledge that man couldn’t fly. Then when airplanes became a part of everyday life, most people didn’t think it was possible to put a man on the moon. If you take the attitude that anything is possible, you’ll find that a lot of things that were previously thought impossible actually do become possible.

Posted in Books, Educational Reform

Bandler on Memorization

Excerpted from Using Your Brain for a Change, by Richard Bandler:

Another major problem for many kids is remembering the stuff they learn in school. A lot of what is called education is simply memorizing. This is changing somewhat. Teachers are starting to realize that the amount of information is so huge, expanding so rapidly, and changing so fast, that memorization isn’t nearly as important as they used to think. It’s much more important now to be able to find the facts when you need them, use them, and forget them. However, you do have to be able to remember how to do that.

Posted in Books, Inspiration

Bandler on Understanding

Excerpted from Using Your Brain for a Change, by  Richard Bandler:

Understanding is a process that is vital to survival and learning. If you weren’t able to make sense out of your experience in some way, you’d be in big trouble. Each of us has about three pounds of gray matter that we use to try to understand the world. That three pounds of jelly can do some truly amazing things, but there’s no way it can fully understand anything. When you think you understand something, that is always a definition of what you don’t know. Karl Popper said it well: “Knowledge is a sophisticated statement of ignorance.” There are several kinds of understanding, and some of them are a lot more useful than others.

One kind of unerstanding allows you to justify things, and gives you reasons for not being able to do anything different. “Things are this way because … and that’s why we can’t change anything.” Where I grew up, we called that a “jive” excuse. A lot of “experts'” understanding of things like schizophrenia and learning disabilities is like that. It sounds very impressive, but basically it’s a set of words that say, “Nothing can be done.” Personally, I’m not interested in “understandings” that lead you to a dead end, even if they might be true. I’d rather leave it open.