Training is a word which seems inadequate as a description of what should take place in industry and commerce to enable people to become more proficient and to learn while performing work. It smacks too much of doing things to people, in the sense that if we train them they will somehow improve. All good teachers know that presenting knowledge is of no value unless the recipients are willing to profit from what they read or hear. In common parlance we often call this willingness ‘motivation’ and it is not uncommon to hear managers and others express their frustrations as ‘how can we motivate people to learn, or to improve or to be willing to do a fair day's work’. The short answer of course is that you can't. People can only motivate themselves. The best we can do is to create the conditions under which self‐motivation is likely to take place. The appropriate conditions vary according to the prevailing social attitudes. When I was at school my history master had a habit of pulling the hairs above the ears of any boy who was incapable of regurgitating the dates and we were strongly motivated to learn them. Some may feel that we have swung too far the other way in allowing groups of children to learn by discovery methods at their own pace. Their so‐called motivation to learn by these methods is often eclipsed by the even greater motivation to pull the hair of the little monster who is nearest. In any event we need to remember that motivation to learn requires a person both to understand the relevance of what he is supposed to master, and also that discovery methods will work only if the person who is supposed to do the discovering already possesses some knowledge upon which he can base his ‘discoveries’.
CitationDownload as .RIS
MCB UP Ltd
Copyright © 1976, MCB UP Limited