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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Articles for Teachers

Fun and Learning – A Deeper Connection
By:Kevin Eikenberry

For 15 years I’ve taught trainers and leaders and instructional designers the importance of making any learning event more fun. I’ve given them reasons and ways to do it. I’ve written about it many times including

All of the things I have taught and techniques I have used are valuable and helpful.

And they aren’t enough.

The training techniques and ideas all focus on the learning process. And while the process is important; when we focus too closely on a process we can lose sight of the result.

It is like when you tell someone their form is wrong and ignore that they still out bowl you by 30 pins. Or when you tell someone they hold the pen wrong when they write, but they still have pretty handwriting. Or they seem to do something in an unconventional but successful way.

In all of these cases, the focus on process keeps our sight away from the desired result.

So it is with fun and learning.

Will our learning be deeper and more lasting (as well as more enjoyable) if we do things to make the process fun? Of course.

But as I already said, that isn’t enough.

If the person leading the training doesn’t understand why those techniques work, or believe that they will work, they will just be “using techniques” and it will feel just like that to both the teacher and the student. It will be like putting a band-aid over a wound far too big – helpful perhaps, but not really a solution.

So what is the deeper connection?

The Deeper Connection Between Fun and Learning

It is simple. The result of learning is:

• Satisfaction
• Happiness
• Success
• New skills
• Greater confidence
• More security
• Enjoyment
• Fun

The result of our learning something new is supposed to be fun.

This fact is largely why the techniques work – they are putting the process of learning in alignment with a deep human truth. When we learn we are expressing a deep human need and exercising our greatness. When we learn we are doing what we know subconsciously we are supposed to be doing. And when we put our actions in alignment with those needs, it makes us happy.

The result of learning is deep fun, enjoyment and satisfaction.

Too often we forget this – both as students and as teachers. Learning is fun.

Perhaps this article helps you understand why the best trainers seem to make the learning process fun and engaging. Perhaps now you understand why you use those types of ideas. Perhaps you even see ways you could teach coworkers, peers and your kids things more effectively.

I hope so.

But my real hope in sharing this article with you is that you think about your personal experiences and beliefs about learning.

This deeper connection between learning and fun matters to us – and not just because we might be teaching someone else - but because we are learners too.

And we’ll be more effective learners, more productive learners and more successful in our lives when we recapture the joy and yes, fun that inherently comes from learning new things.

Kevin Eikenberry

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