Key Literacy of 21st Century: Learn, Unlearn & Relearn

Good Morning!!

According to famous Author Alvin Toffler -“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

In the 20th Century, It was Sufficient to Just Learn. Today You Frequently Need to Learn, Unlearn and Relearn.

Thomas Edison famously embodied this ability and described it well when he said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve merely learned 10,000 ways it doesn’t work.

In the 20th century, most people needed only to engage in the first of these three skills: learning.  Only scientists and inventors needed the rigorous method that forces you to unlearn things that are no longer true and relearn how things actually work.

Today, nearly everyone now needs to be able to learn, unlearn and relearn.

Futurist Alvin Toffler was one of the first to predict that a key “literacy” in the 21st century would be the ability to learn, unlearn and relearn. See his groundbreaking book, Rethinking the Future: Rethinking Business Principles, Competition, Control and Complexity.

Educator Cathy Davidson argues that it’s not only a needed literacy, but that in fact “the brain is designed to learn, unlearn and relearn, and nothing limits our own capabilities than our own attitudes toward them. See Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Change the Way We Live, Work and Learn.

In fact, it is very significant because the growth mindset is one of the most important characteristics that every one should have. To build growth mindset, you need to do these three things: learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Learn means we should have an open mind to update and adapt with the contemporary world. It means we need to collect information, browse new trends, and also seek how the world change. It also means we should give the opportunity for peers to give feedback, and need to evaluate themselves how to improve their performance and experiences. It also means we all learn from one another by actively ask and share with fellow workers to upgrade their knowledge and skills.  

Then, unlearn is the hardest part of growth mindset because you should let go your old and traditional mindset by just stop learning or doing it. For example, you might ever learned that threatening the employees is the best way to improve their performance.  It was assumed to be the only best tool you have to show whether your workers get it or not. However, after you learn and relearn something from many resources and friends, you realize you need to unlearn that ‘threating is the best assessment’ from your mind. It means you must change your old paradigm and dare to embrace new paradigm as replacement of new things. You can do it by giving your employees opportunity to share their learning experiences in your company. 

Does the threatening work  all the time? If the answer is no and you still love threatening and pressurising, it is time for you unlearn it and change it.

Subsequently, relearn means you should dare to open for something they have learned before, but maybe, it is undone or incomplete because you fail to make it. After you have unlearned something which means you have throw away your old thinking, it is important to relearn something new to replace your traditional thinking. For example, Managers might have relearn about encouraging. However, you found it is too difficult to do so that you just did not make it. If you have growth mindset, you won’t give up when you failed. You keep pushing and keep learning them. It means your spirit of learning is not limited by any failure or bad experiences, you need to keep learning.

If you are curious to read more on this subject, I suggest to read at:

Published by DR. TRILOK SHARMA

I have traveled a long way towards the final destination of life. Many times I took a wrong turn on the road and spend a lot of precious time to come back on main road. Many times, I helped & supported the people who did not deserve my attention, and unknowingly ignored the ones who cared for me. Through this site, I want to put some traffic signs on the route of life to help those who are willing not to make similar mistakes that I did.

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