DonnaM » Blog Archive » Training & world views

Training & world views

I was reading Seth Godin’s ‘All Marketers are Liars‘ this morning and something I read connected with part of my training dilemma I wrote about last week (where I commented how hard it is to teach people to think when they want answers).

The first chapter of his book is about people’s ‘worldview’ – the frames, expectations and biases that we all have. The chapter explains how these things relate to marketing and how marketers must work with how their customers think rather than against them. He points out that most people don’t want to change their worldview – that we actively look for things that support our worldview. He also reminds us that there are many, many worldviews, something that most UCD people recognise (some of us turn these into personas), but marketers sometimes don’t (and use demographics).

How does this relate to teaching? Everyone walks into class with a worldview. Some walk in ready to have a relaxing day away from the desk; some to expand their knowledge; some to take away some answers without thinking.

I have to remember:

  1. A class is varied and contains these worldviews plus some variants
  2. I’ll have a better overall outcome by targeting some worldviews over others.

I am a good enough teacher to meet the first two worldviews – I am experienced enough to make a day fun, and can open eyes and expand knowledge. I can’t meet the third without betraying my principles – I can only do what I’m comfortable with but no more. And I needn’t feel like I have to. As Andrew pointed out in comments, I just need to remember to manage expectations where possible.

So I feel better. Seth Godin on marketing reminded me of something quite unrelated (and provided a good read on the way to work).

2 Responses to “Training & world views”

  1. Andrew Boyd Says:

    Hi Donna,

    it sounds to me like Seth has read Lakoff :) Lakoff’s “different cultures frame things differently” becomes Seth Godin’s “people relate to the worldview that supports them” and even Stephen King’s “Write to your audience, everything else is bull”.

    I think that it goes way beyond the visual/auditory/kinesthetic learner divisions (although these are a good start).

    Cheers, Andrew

  2. Donna Maurer Says:

    I always do the visual/auditory/kinesthetic thing. It is not enough – by far. All it does is stop a proportion of the audience from sleeping.

    And ‘write to your audience’ (teach/design for your audience) makes logical sense, but doesn’t usually turn into anything practical without additional work.

    The Lakoff frames/culture idea fits, but the message in this book is that it is more individual than culture. Culture is too broad – paying attention to the frames of individuals (and patterns of frames) is the important thing…

    The worldview/frame concept is one very good way to remember what it is about individuals in the audience that affects how we communicate/teach/write/design to.

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