On social media sites and in clinics all over, we often hear people saying “but I read Explain Pain,” as they list the therapies they have encountered for their ongoing pain. Patients and health professionals may be missing some basic Educational Psychology fundamentals.
Instruction and learning are different.
Instruction is an action the Deliverer undertakes, such as handing out a book or telling a story. The goal of instruction is to promote learning.
Learning is a process and not a product.
“Explain Pain” won’t work if you eat it or rub it on the sore bit. It’s not a pill or a potion. Learning for lasting impact nearly always takes time and it’s a dynamic process. Short term change does not reflect learning. This is particularly relevant here as pain is also a process not a product.
Learning is not something done to learners. You ‘do’ learning to yourself. Learning happens when the learner does something with the information and responds to that experience.
Informed health professionals can power up the process
Information comes in many domains.
(Adapted from Mayer RE (2008) Learning and Instruction, Pearson)
But on reflection, maybe we do want people to eat Explain Pain, to devour it and take it deep to every corner of their body and into the very marrow of their bones!.