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Why Self-Development NEVER Works for Most People…

4 January 2011 3 Comments


bruce hyland cone of learning

The above diagram is called “The Cone of Learning,” developed by Bruce Hyland (and based on Edgar Dale’s “Cone of Experience,” created in 1946).

I think it’s self-explanatory, but here’s Robert Kiyosaki on it in his book, “Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money,” as it applies to financial education…

———— Educations Biggest Mistake ————

rich dad conspiracy of the rich book excerpt“The primary reason most people are afraid of changing is because they’re afraid of making mistakes, especially financial mistakes. Most people cling to job security because they’re afraid of failing financially.

Also, the reason most people turn their money over to financial planners is because they hope the financial planner won’t make mistakes, which – ironically – is a mistake…

To me, our education system’s biggest problem is that it teaches kids not to make mistakes. When children inevitably do make mistakes, the system punishes them rather then teach them to learn from it.

All intelligent people know that we learn by making mistakes: we learn to ride bicycle by falling off of it first, and we learn to swim by jumping in the water. So how can people learn about money if they’re afraid of making a mistakes???

young african american child reading…(the diagram) explains why so many kids dislike school, find it boring and fail to retain most of the information after years of sitting in a classroom.” ~ Robert Kiyosaki

What do you think??? Leave a comment below letting me know how this applies to you or anyone you know, and how this diagram can help turn things around…



  • Sepia Prince said:

    The Cone of Learning – an interesting, to say the least, diagram you’ve shared with the people. For me, the glaring fact from it I see is that we retain “10% of what we read”. With an exercise like mind-mapping chapters, it can surely help to increase that percentage. I’m still doing the knowledge and will share my results with you. Peace!

  • Bryan Ogilvie (author) said:

    Yeah: it’s a serious subject man, and the diagram helps massively (visuals teach better then words, they say).

    (This, along with the “healthy selfishness” concept, seem to be the most impactful, by the way. I’ll be going in depth with this stuff more too later on)

    Here’s how I see it: “Physical learning is the most impactful, but mental learning has the most depth…”

    What I mean is that, while reading has the poorest retention rate, it’s also the most accessible (physical learning requires resources like time, money and energy, while mental learning, typically, only requires reading and thinking).

    So, the mental learning is where you make choices about WHAT you’d like to learn, and the physical learning is where you INVEST your time, money, and energy to actually, really LEARN IT, if that makes sense.

    So both are necessary, we just have to be clear about what type of learning (or familiarizing) we’re doing, and when it’s time to take it to the next level and committ to learning a specific thing.

    Hope that’s clear, but basically, ALL TYPES OF LEARNING ARE IMPORTANT, and they come together holistically.


  • Asad said:

    I can honestly say that applying the “cone” to the way I learn is gonna be a game changer. I am sure that schools are aware of this as well, yet they still choose to teach based on the passive, and least effective part of the model. Is that intentional or the result of apathy and resistance to change on the part of the institution?

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