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A social infrastructure that supports unlearning can be intentionally and effectively designed. Starbuck (1996) identified the essential characteristics of an “unlearning environment.” He believed that these unlearning environments should:

  1. Create dissatisfaction with mental models;
  2. Introduce new mental models as “experiments,” which reduces the fear of failure;
  3. State the desirable outcomes of exploring new mental models without expecting people to start applying the mental models, which, again, reduces the fear of failure;
  4. Encourage and consider dissent and dialogue;
  5. Reconcile differences between old and new mental models by seeking commonality and complimentarity;
  6. Encourage and actively seek the views of “outsiders”; and,
  7. Encourage people to be skeptical of all mental models, not just the old ones.

Constructing New Mental Models

The process of constructing new mental models is a knowledge-creation process. Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) described a knowledge-creation process for organizations. The core elements of their knowledge-creation process are what they called tacit and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is difficult to describe using words. It is often situated at an intuitive level. For example, a teacher may be “famous” for her ability to manage classroom behavior. But when asked to describe in words how and why she is so successful she replies, “I don’t know. I just do it.” Explicit knowledge, on the other hand, is easily described using words. For example, when asked how to solve a quadratic equation a mathematics teacher describes the formula and solution steps accurately and in detail.

Nonaka and Takeuchi’s knowledge creation process, as noted above, was created for use by organizations. Their methodology for creating organization-wide knowledge begins by engaging individual experts in structured activities to make their tacit expertise (their tacit knowledge) explicit. The “best” of that explicit knowledge is then transformed into organization-wide explicit knowledge (in other words it is shared throughout the organization). Then, steps are taken to embed that explicit organization-wide knowledge deep within the organization’s memory thus making it organization-wide tacit knowledge. The goal of this process is to create functional organization-wide mental models that are sustained.


Given their dominant paradigms and related mental models individuals, teams, and entire school districts begin to make up their minds about what works and what does not work and about what has merit and value and what does not. “Making up one’s mind” is another way of saying that a person’s mind is set. In other words, they have established a mindset. And, these mindsets are, in fact, really attitudes fueled by beliefs and values. These attitudes can be either positive or negative.

As a mindset hardens it creates a predisposition to think, believe, and do things in a particular way. Within a profession, mindsets are hammered in hard by the profession’s controlling paradigm and related mental models and the reward systems that reinforce them. Mindsets also create powerful incentives for individuals and groups to behave in ways that are congruent with the controlling paradigm and mental models.

Questions & Answers

What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Paradigms, mental models, and mindsets: triple barriers to transformational change in school systems. OpenStax CNX. Jun 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10723/1.1
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