Over the past year we have been publishing extracts from The New Learning Architect. We continue with the ninth and final part of chapter 11 and the book as a whole:
Real life is messy: less like a mechanical device in which every part has its place and behaves predictably most of the time; more like a weather system, the elements of which interact in complex and unpredictable ways, always catching us off our guard. Even the best models can only ever approximate reality and can certainly never be relied upon to replace human judgement. If a model could be created which captured all the vagaries of real-life experience, it would be unusably complex to understand and apply. The model described in this book is no exception: with any luck it will explain many of the situations in which we find ourselves in l&d and help us to predict what will happen if we attempt certain types of interventions with certain types of audiences; but these are only approximations and every situation will be unlike any other.
Perhaps the best rule is to break the rules when you have to, but to do this knowingly. Ignorant people break rules because they don’t know that they exist. Stupid people break them when to apply them really would make a positive difference. Astute people break rules because they know that, however well they may apply in other situations, this isn’t one of them. They realise that, however well-conceived, no model mirrors reality so well that it is universally applicable.
So, be astute. If you have found the model described in this book helpful then please make use of it as a starting point for your deliberations. Never rely on it as a substitute for intelligent decision-making based on a sound understanding of your unique circumstances.
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