Unlearning is just as important, and some would argue, even more important, than learning.
What is unlearning?
Unlearning happens when one comes face-to-face with a new idea, concept or thought that contradicts what has been learned previously. The world is constantly moving, changing, and shifting. If we don’t acknowledge this, we threaten our very survival, be it professionally or personally, in this ever-changing landscape.
New ideas have always been a catalyst to growth and development, be it in a classroom, in a business setting, or in a relationship. These new ideas are constantly replacing old ones. What we spent years learning, may no longer be applicable today or in the future.
Learn to Unlearn
How does one not drown in the sea of knowledge when it is constantly being saturated by newer concepts that replace old ones? The answer is quite simple. We need to learn to unlearn.
What Does it Mean to Unlearn?
Our minds are being filled with a constant flow of information. If we don’t stop and empty some of it out, we won’t have room for anything new to enter. To stay fresh, vital and on top of the game, we need to make room for new knowledge because the world is ever changing.
Benefits of Unlearning:
- Release old ideas
- Let go of old habits
- Make room for new information
Why Should We Unlearn?
As ISD professionals, it’s critical that we understand the need for unlearning because technology is always changing, and what served us once, may not serve us today or tomorrow.
Unlearning Allows Us:
- To grow
- To allow new ideas to take up root
- To gain new perspectives
- To adapt to the changing environment
- To remove barriers that limit our potential
In her blog, Taruna Goel introduced this excerpt from a paper titled ‘Lifelong Unlearning’ written by Trevor Pateman: “In our cognitive lives our memories – what we know – is often an obstacle to engaging with the world around us. It is a commonplace that what we see is often influenced by what we think there is to see, and if that is true, then that might be taken as an argument for thinking less and with less conviction. We should carry our knowledge lightly, and always be ready to let go of it.”
Check out this video by Author Jack Uldrich on Unlearning Possibilities: