Rules of Accelerated Learning, #7: Designed Environment

Chapel image Designed Environment accelerated learning

A quiet chapel, expertly (if unconsciously) designed with ALIVE, SIGNAL STRENGTH, NARROW SCOPE and DESIGNED ENVIRONMENT (image CC weisserstier)

This is part of an ongoing series on the fundamental rules or “patterns” of accelerated learning. Each rule is very contextual; these are not silver bullets or cure-alls.


When you are fluently sharing learning amongst participants, looking for more acceleration, and are ready for an expanded focus…

The human brain is masterful at inducing tunnel vision and unconsciously filtering out most environmental distractions.

  • Any part of your brain engaged in filtering distractions is unavailable for the learning at hand.
  • Conscious of it or not, humans are “instruments played by the environment” – the environment drives human behavior.
Therefore, design your learning environment to reduce environmental noise and drive the learning behaviors you want.
  • Rather than tolerating the noisy environment in which you find yourself, prepare for learning by reshaping as much as it possible to support exactly what you want to happen.
  • On the fly from moment to moment, respond to learner engagement by modifying or removing distractions. Resist the “we can deal with it for now” disease.
  • Make the environment as ALIVE as possible, meeting human needs for comfort and belonging.
Applying DESIGNED ENVIRONMENT can often, perhaps more than any other rule, bring up the sense of inconvenience and frustration with the energy required to effectively design accelerated learning. Participants may feel more like furniture movers and caterers than skilled instructors and learners; learning is an essentially embodied activity, and yet we rarely consider the role of our bodies in supporting what is culturally defined as a “mental activity”.

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