Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fear Mitigation and Learning

In the comments to my WoW observations, Dave Ferguson noted:
I've come to think that while some getting-up-to-speed resources are a good idea in general, many people (meaning "me") prefer to get starting on what seems like really doing something, rather than on in theory learning about how to get started.

He's right, many people WOULD prefer diving into the topic head first.

And then there's me - a person who prefers to read and analyze everything she can get her hands on before trying something brand new.

Why do I do this?

So that I feel better prepared going in. As a result, I am more open to learning while practicing rather than letting my fears wig me out.

I find that I create my learning resources (Quick References, Manuals, Tutorials, etc) not because I expect people to actually use these things (it would be nice), but so that people feel more comfortable.

If I don't get it now - at least there are other resources.....

The difference between the student reaction when I have materials for them to take away (and put in the trash) vs. no materials (even when I promise to e-mail them copies later) is striking.

That piece of paper is a security blanket.

For whatever reason, it opens students up for learning because it mitigates the fear.

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