I was walking through London late last night when a stranger walked up, looking lost. He was laden with bags, had lost his friend and couldn’t find his hotel. It’s a disorientating experience being away from home, being somewhere new, being alone.
Why? Because the landscape is unfamiliar, things are not the same, everything requires a little bit of thought and it takes time to tune in, to develop confidence, to feel at home.
It’s the same when we learn something new: at first, we consciously grapple with the concepts, with the knowledge, the facts, the details, the way it relates to what we already know. In time, the strange becomes familiar. We recognise concepts cropping up again, we start to see structure in the chaos. Of course, this isn’t accidental: good learning design support us doing this, it helps us find our way, providing incremental complexity and signposts to help us keep our sense of direction.
And once we know a landscape, it’s inconceivable that we ever felt lost, just as once se know something, once we have mastered it, it’s changed us forever. We can’t unlearn it. We have arrived somewhere new……