Dislike Learning?

12 Mar

I recently had an argument with my brother about the idea that people can dislike learning. Now, a bit of background on him: he is intelligent and enjoys learning about medical, biological, kinesthetic, and scientific topics. However, he still maintains that it is possible for people to dislike learning: “Some people just don’t like learning.” I argued that this was impossible. People may be able to dislike learning about certain things, or dislike learning in certain ways, but I do not believe that people can dislike learning itself. All of life requires learning, and everyone has interests that they would value learning about, and even teaching others about.

I found this article that agrees with me. It stresses the idea of learned behaviour—even that student in class that seems to not hear one word you say is learning about what behaviours will test you as the teacher, or what behaviours will get him/her a passing mark, etc. I truly did try to find an article arguing that people can try to dislike learning, but the closest I could find was that some people can hate school.

Now, I realize that I am biased. Because I am in education, I obviously value learning incredibly highly. However, is it really possible to dislike learning? And, even if this is not the case, what makes a person (especially one such person as my brother who was always successful in the education system) uphold the belief that people can dislike learning? I found this belief very distressing. What do you think?


Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Blogging Adventures


9 responses to “Dislike Learning?

  1. pviher

    March 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I would say that people can be conditioned to dislike learning, depending on their experiences. Whether positive or negative, their experiences shape their attitude and motivation to learn. But I think you’re right, Alyshia. You can’t help but learn – it’s a part of human nature. I think of how a baby experiences their first year of life and how much they are naturally learning through their environment. It’s kind of like breathing – you can’t really get by without it.

  2. tanilledawn

    March 14, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I’m a firm believer that everyone learns in different ways, as a result some people may dislike learning because their learning needs are not being met. For example, a student may be an auditory learner and their teachers consistently provides hand-outs versus a verbal explanation. I think learning can become frustrating to students or anyone, and as a result they may think they don’t like it. At the same time, this same student could excel at a sport, to me, that is still learning. Just because it’s not from a book, doesn’t mean you aren’t learning. I think that is something that we should promote, that learning comes in all shapes and forms!

    • alyshiavankannel

      March 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks for the comment. I absolutely agree. That’s why I said that people may dislike learning in certain WAYS (such as the hand-outs you brought up); it’s often that they don’t feel successful in their learning when it is delivered in a way that does not help them to be successful.

  3. emily knowles

    March 14, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Great post Alyshia! The act of learning is something that I think about all of the time. As an educator, like you pointed out, I love to learn! and I find it hard to believe that people don’t “like to learn”. I do agree with you that people do not inherently dislike learning itself, but I do believe that some people can feel turned off from learning and maybe even can start to believe that they do not like to learn. I think this is a much deeper issue. It is not that the act of learning itself is disliked, as everything we do is some sort of a learning experience, but rather it is the experience of learning ( especially in schools) that turns people off of that type of learning. I think this often occurs because the student or person feels more discouragement in school then they do encouragement. This is unfortunate, because for the most part, the majority of kids go into school wanting to be there.

    • alyshiavankannel

      March 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      Thanks for the comment. I really enjoyed reading your perspective, and I have to agree. It is sad to think that most kids love going to school at the beginning, and (from my experience) many cannot stand it by Gr. 8 even.

  4. annaraskolnikoff

    March 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I don’t think you can dislike learning. You can dislike all sorts of things around learning, but not the learning power in itself. You can get discouraged by bad teachers, by bullying students, by your parents. You may not value learning as memorizing. You may find it hard to be creative if you were told all your life to repeat patterns. But I don’t think you can dislike learning. I suppose it is a fantastic subject to talk about with your students. Try it. I am sure you won’t be disappointed 🙂

    • alyshiavankannel

      March 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks for your feedback! It definitely would be something fun to talk about with students- I hadn’t even thought of that!


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