The Thomas Paine Approach

If Mr. Paine were designing a training program to educate early Americans on the necessities of forming a new republic, how would he have designed that course?  He knew his objective was to educate the citizenry of this fledgling nation on the merits of forming their own government and break from the monarchical rule of Great Britain.  He had no Instructional Design Process to follow, he had limited means to survey his audience for their educational need; he had no metrics to assess the success of his endeavor.  Yet, this was exactly the challenge he found himself facing, and the environment in which he had to operate!

His answer was to rely upon “simple facts,” “plain arguments,” and “common sense” in asking the citizenry to put aside their pre-conceived ideas and prejudices and “generously enlarge their views beyond the present day.”. Thus, Paine was relying solely upon his personal experiences, those of his peers, and the lessons they had learned from history.

If our learning community were to look at how efficiently we apply “common sense” to our modern learning strategies, what alterations, or enhancements could we apply to meet the challenges of the day?