Being an Effluent Disturber

Posted by Jim Klaas on October 11, 2011

Dear 1 ML,
Learn how being an “effluent disturber” helped my learning in the sewage treatment plant. Watch here
Happy learning.

About the 1 Minute Learner
Jim Klaas is a learning coach, author, and the founder of DevEd International, a firm specializing in innovative learning solutions and international development. Find out more at

I am trying to get my head around the term Disruptive Learning. The idea is that it must challenge preset notions and lead to the formation of new paradigms. Sounds challenging, even threatening.

I worked in a sewage treatment plant where once a sample bottle that sat out in the sun, blew up in my face. From that disruptive experience, I learned to open them more carefully after that.

I would argue without some kind of disruption, no learning takes place. Unfortunately without disturbing some of the effluent, the duck will not learn what to avoid. We have a term for that which describes some people’s unique gift in this area.

We make learning too safe, too homogenized, to pegged to the status quo especially in inevitability of change. We need to be more disruptive- willing, more risk agile..


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