Rules of Accelerated Learning, #10: Contract

raven contract accelerated learning language

Ravens and Wolves have long had a contract; if the Raven leads the Wolf to prey, the Wolf has to leave some for the Raven! (image CC Lee Jaffe)

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.

Rule #10: CONTRACT

When you are beginning to collect and cohere successful learning strategies, for self-clarification and collaboration…

If a tool doesn’t have a name, it’s difficult to think about, talk about, understand, improve, or collaborate with.

  • Techniques for shared learning can have different names in different places.
  • Names can vary in effectiveness; the best names are sticky, funny, evocative, in-jokes.
  • Communities themselves decide whether names stick.
  • Effective techniques can often just seem like good ideas, or suggestions, and may be discarded or modified by novices in practice, before they are understood and mastered.
  • The idea of “Rules” can, in the right playful context, be a stronger force for encouraging the use of effective learning techniques.
  • “Rules” can also feel restrictive, or authoritarian, and therefore perhaps worth breaking on principle.
Therefore, as a community, agree on common names for your strategies for success, call them Rules (to encourage adherence), and refrain from modifying or discarding them until you can fluently apply them.
  • Call for a CONTRACT when a new Rule is suggested or seems needed.
  • If a sticky in-joke name doesn’t jump to mind, MUMBLE a good-enough-for-now substitue. Names can always be changed later.
  • Emphasize the game environment; these are Rules of play, not restrictive commandments.
Players often have their own preferred theories of learning, and are conditioned to other tools of collaboration. FLUENCY HUNTING, as a comprehensive system of accelerated learning can create culture shock in new players. There is indeed a learning curve to mastering self-directed learning; accelerated learning requires more energy, and more commitment. By agreeing to the CONTRACT of the rules of play, you can short-circuit discussion and debate that players may be initially inclined to – in the face of objections, shrug your shoulders; games have rules, and these are the just the rules of play for this game. Once players can fluently apply them, they are invited to improve or discard old rules and CONTRACT new ones.

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