Monday, April 12, 2010

How Leaders Learn

"The true test of intelligence is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do." John Holt in How Children Fail (205)

While Holt's classic title provides ideas for leaders who work with children, general concepts can be applied to all areas of leadership. In the section from which the above quote is taken, Holt suggests that success occurs when one meets a new situation or problem openly, utilizing the mind and senses of imagination, resourcefulness, confidence and hopefulness. When anaylzing these initial behaviors, he or she is willing to accept and learn from mistakes.

In this same title, Holt discusses "real learning" (136-7) which applies to students of all ages. Something is understood when:

1) one can state it in one's own words
2) one can give an example of it
3) one can recognize the concept in various guises and circumstances
4) one can make connections between the new concept and other facts or ideas
5) one can utilize the new information in various ways
6) one can foresee some of its consequences
7) one can state its opposite or converse

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