“Our school systems attest that there are specific experiences that can be given to a human that will result in development of his mental structure to the point where the behavior derived there from by his mental mechanisms shows us that he has gained new comprehension–in other words, we can do a certain amount from outside the human toward developing his mental structure. Independent students and researchers also attest that internally directed behavior on the part of an individual can directly aid his structure-building process.”

I chose this nugget, because I think every experience has an effect on your mental structure. Sometimes we limit ourselves and don’t really think outside the box mainly based on what we learned in school and from the people in our lives. School structures most of our lives, since you’re basically in school most of your life. Thinking back to high school, every teacher has a different affect on me. Some teachers would encourage students while others would discourage students. Also, new friends I made throughout the years. I was doing some research on how school affects the mental structure as well.  All the good and bad things throughout your life affects your mental structure and your behavior.  I think my own mental structure has changed over the years thinking from senior year to being a sophomore in college. The new people in my life and new professors I have every semester. This past summer, I learned to get out of that box, because I wanted to gain new experiences and perception. You always have this internal and external motivation and that also affects your mental structure and your behavior. Just imagine how different your mental structure would be if you didn’t have those certain teachers/professors or friends/peers in your life.

One comment on “Augmenting Human Intellect

  • This is a VERY important part of Engelbart’s writing, but I think you missed the biggest line. The very last line of the nugget is “Independent students and researchers also attest that internally directed behavior on the part of an individual can directly aid his structure-building process.” What Engelbart is speaking to there is the idea of “intrinsic motivation.” http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/intrinsic_motivation.htmI

    I think schools don’t pay enough attention to intrinsic motivation. Too many students are asked to do things and then rewarded for good performance. As a result, students become motivated extrinsically; they only do things when they see some kind of prize at the end (e.g. a good grade, a ribbon, points on a test, graduation, etc.). That’s not ideal; we want students who are driven internally/intrinsically. We want students who burn to learn. That’s a key part of where Engelbart ultimately goes with is point about bootstrapping the collective IQ.

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