I see many graphs on the internet yet stop at times and wonder ‘okay, interesting ideas, yet where do these come from?’
One example is:
How We Learn
10% of what we READ
20% of what we HEAR
30% of what we SEE
50% of what we SEE and HEAR
70% of what is DISCUSSED with OTHERS
80% of what is EXPERIENCED PERSONALLY
95% of what we TEACH TO SOMEONE ELSE
It is often attributed to William Glasser , is used a great deal in education and training , yet let’s look a little closer.
Where does the How We Learn theory come from?
According to Will at Work Learning the figures were ‘first published by an employee of Mobil Oil Company in 1967, writing in the magazine Film and Audio-Visual Communications.’
The figures were not based on solid research- furthermore they have been twisted and distorted ever since.
The interesting story is detailed in the above link. And oops I have been guilty of using this graph myself.
Proves that in training we need to take things with a grain of salt – or ‘a grain of whiteboard marker’ to excuse the pun.
Here are some sobering comments from famous educators to make us think twice about our use of ideas.
There have been literally hundreds and perhaps thousands of applications of my ideas educationally, both in this country and in the world. I say that with as much mystification and embarrassment as pride, because I have had almost nothing to do with it; these are things other people have done. But one thing that struck me is how incredibly superficial most of the applications have been, and one obsessive thought that’s stimulating me through this current work in education is this: I don’t want to be part of the trivialization of education. Howard Gardner
Gazzaniga who worked alongside alongside Roger Sperry on split-brain patients said in 1985 – “How did some laboratory finding of limited generality get so outrageously misinterpreted?” – Quoted in Guy Claxton’s ‘Hare Brain Tortoise Mind.’
Learning is a much wider, richer concept than is captured within current models of education and training. – Guy Claxton in ‘Wise Up: the Challenge of Lifelong Learning.’