Can You Catch Learning?

SmilesThere was a wonderful article in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, “Is Happiness Catching.”  The article was about some research Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler are doing to see if behaviors can be “contagious,” so good behaviors, and those who have them, can in turn support spreading the “goodness.”

While the research jury is still out for how this actually works, initial research suggests there may be a connection.

I wonder how this can fit with learning? Can learning be contagious?  If we promote learning practices, can they rub off on those around us, so that we, en masse, increase learning skills and a knowledge base? With a knowledge society, let’s hope so.

Of course, the question of “whose learning” should we try to spread (think conservative vs. liberal, race, power relationships, etc.) will also have to be addressed, and once again we may be back at the beginning . . .