“How to Train Your Dragon” can also teach training folk


“How to Train your Dragon” was one of the top performing movies of 2010. I finally got to view this movie on DVD with my children. It was a great movie-going experience AND included some key learning points for Learning and Development (Training) folk. Here goes:

  1. Understand your Learners: Do not see your learners (dragons) as something to be tamed, tacked or “handled”. It is important to understand what makes them tick so they can be engaged in learning. Consider what frightens them, makes them happy, motivated or more likely to perform. Until the main character understood the dragons, he was frightened of them and unable to engage them in learning.
  2. Let Learners be Teachers: In the movie, the dragon was  initially wrongly perceived by the humans. Through a slow process, the dragon teaches the boy about how dragons best respond and perform. Actually, the dragon trains the boy rather than the reverse. Are we giving learners the opportunity to teach? Do they have opportunities to share best practices, mentor, teach classes and create learning bytes. This will help elicit the best performance from all leaners.
  3. Create Communities of Learning and Practice: The knowledge of how to “train” dragons was not restricted to only the boy and the dragon. It was shared among all the humans, refined, and displayed in a stunning battle performance. Communities of practice enable learners to share and build their knowledge. This results in peak performance for all learners.

Any other movies that include training lessons? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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About Learning in the News

Musings from Michele B. Medved about the application of adult learning theories, methodologies and best practices in the real world
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