HOW TO LEARN ?
Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Which First Lesson Is The Most Essential ?
LEARNING HOW TO LISTEN ?
LEARNING HOW TO SPEAK ?
LEARNING HOW TO READ ?
LEARNING HOW TO WRITE ?
LEARNING HOW TO SPELL ?
LEARNING ARITHMATIC, etc. ?
HOW TO LEARN ?
HOW TO LEARN ?
Could it really be possible that when new born children first open their eyes, they say to themselves:
"Oh dear, now I've got to learn talking, spelling and maths all over again ?”
I don't think so.
I think it's far more likely to be: “What the heck is that ?”, or some other question or expression of fear, anxiety, curiosity or interest in something right there in front of them.
What do you think ?
They have to start somewhere, and “finding out” what is threatening them, protecting them, comforting them, feeding them or even amusing them - at that moment - seems very likely.
Because learning is the first and foremost basic activity of life and living, AND IT IS THE ONE LESSON WE ARE SELDOM IF EVER TAUGHT.
In fact, can it be taught ? Isn't learning ability part of our mental inheritance ? Did we not get it from Dad, Mum or Great-Grand someone ? Or did we bring it with us from some past life ?
Whatever the answer to those questions, one thing is certain. Some of us have lots of learning ability, some seem to have about “enough” and others don't seem to be so fortunate.
Which soon raises the question as to whether or not we can do something about increasing the learning or study speed of those in a class who learn less quickly.
On examination one finds that the biggest barriers to learning are misunderstandings leading to even further non-comprehension and confusion, and that this arises from being given or picking up false, erroneous, misleading or totally wrong and inaccurate data at an earlier point in time, and is very easily done – even perhaps in the womb – or (as many today would have us believe) in some past lifetime.
Be that as it may, but when grandma offers a coloured plastic cup full of orange juice to her baby grand-daughter, the older lady can give her action “meaning” in numerous ways. She can say: “drink” or “cup” or “yours” or “orange juice” or “nice” or “this is lovely” or “you'll like this” or “get this down you baby” or “yum-yum” or any of a number of different accompanying words or phrases.
And so also can Dad and Mum and elder sister, etc., all with the same colour of cup or another colour or shape and with the same contents or another drink, hot or cold, sweet or savoury, etc.
Then they can also all so easily do similar confusing multiple actions and “word noises” with food in a bowl and a spoonful directed towards the baby's mouth.
But contentment lies in certainty. Very little to do with whether baby likes the food or the drink. Very much to do with their confidence and understanding.
Are they being told to “eat the cup from the drink”, or to “drink” (action) the “drink” (thing) from the cup ? etc.
In other words, quite apart from the child's own inherent learning ability, there is the question of how clearly, logically, accurately and coherently is the information being presented, because simple repetition of the same combined action plus a speech factor provides a far faster learning gradient than a constantly changing choice of words attached to the same actions or items.
In fact from the above, we begin to recognise that, quite apart from the child's own immediate ability to learn, there exist numerous “barriers to study or learning” which derive from the child's environment and particularly the people in it.
The first of these barriers we have just looked at.
THE SPEED OR GRADIENT (sequence of ascending / progressive steps) WITH WHICH THE TEACHING AND / OR LEARNING PROCESS PROCEEDS.
Learning the alphabet and its phonics before you learn words, and learning words before you learn sentences, and sentences before paragraphs, chapters, and the full story, etc., is one type of gradient.
But if you miss out the alphabet, or the phonics or an understanding of the different sorts of words, etc., the whole gradient sequence soon collapses, and you finish up with no story. No punch-line. No comprehension and feeling foolish.
Other gradient sequences are involved in safely and efficiently starting and driving a car. You don't start the engine until you have depressed the clutch or checked that the gear lever is in neutral. You don't move away from the kerb before you have checked your mirror, made sure the road is clear and signalled your intentions.
And you certainly don't try to swim the English Channel without many months of gradual training, body-building and safety preparations.
The second important barrier is quite different.
It is fairly easy to observe that each piece of “knowledge”, each fact or truth is more comprehensible to the degree that it contains a balance of mass and significance, rather than either a complete absence of mass or no significance whatsoever.
(i.e. Is the object, idea or action actually with us in the “here and now”, along with a matching significance explaining the existence of that object, idea or action ?)
FAILING TO HAVE THE MASS (of the object, thing or even a picture of it) PRESENT, AND FAILING TO SEEK A BALANCE BETWEEEN THE “MASS” AND THE “SIGNIFICANCE” OF THAT SUBJECT'S DATA, CREATES A BARRIER TO SEEING, LEARNING & COMPREHENSION.
If, in the hope of recruiting workers for a jungle project, you helicopter-drop a bright yellow JCB excavator into the centre of an Amazonian native village, with no explanation or other significance, the likelihood of their worshipping it as some new God is high. No Significance. All Mass. And so generation of a false significance.
But if you send a knowledgeable and well trained engineering professor to do the recruiting, with all his technical books and explanations about JCBs, but no machine and not even a picture or drawing, the likelihood is that the professor will finish up in the cooking pot. All Significance. No Mass. No common reality.
There are lots of minor barriers to learning, such as very bad handwriting or very different pronunciation. Try putting a Glaswegian Scot together with an Essex Englishman and they each will tell you that the other cannot speak English.
Or try and speak with the ladies of certain religious sects, and you will not only be ignored but likely even attacked and thrown out by their menfolk.
HOWEVER, THE MAJOR BARRIER TO LEARNING AND STUDY IS – “THE MIS-UNDERSTOOD WORD”, ESPECIALLY AS THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS IN WHICH A WORD CAN BE MISUNDERSTOOD.
It can be misspelt and / or mispronounced, it can have been assigned a completely wrong meaning, been assigned no meaning, have an incomplete definition, have numerous meanings all spelt and pronounced the same (e.g. catch & see), be pronounced in two different ways with quite different meanings (e.g. project and project), be pronounced the same although spelt differently, (rein, rain & reign), etc.
And misunderstood words work both ways. You can spread them around yourself, passing on your misunderstood words to others and, you can quite unknowingly pull them in from other people – even teachers, the radio, television and those professionals who like to blind their listeners with science, to prove their own education and your lack thereof.
The teacher, lecturer, trainer, commentator, presenter or professor who starts his discourse with: “Tonight our subject is eggswisehead”, and then fails to provide a definition and examples ensuring his title is understood, has not only given his audience a nice new misunderstood word, he has also just LOST his audience – as I might also have done at this point ! For the same reason.
Words are the building blocks of all languages and, whether written or spoken, it takes only one Mis-Understood word (M/U) in a sentence to interrupt the flow of understanding and to completely suppress comprehension of that whole sentence, as well as the paragraph and often the page – particularly if that lack of understanding is not immediately corrected. And that's only the first problem M/Us create.
Where M/Us are undetected and uncorrected, we find the source of stupidity, failing exam results, damaging errors, derisory and harmful arguments, abandonment of study subjects and jobs, as well as friends and even family.
Learning how to learn. Knowing and handling the main barriers to study are the key to progress, proficiency, friendship and happiness – in many ways the key to life.
And once you've invested a relatively small amount of study-time into learning how to learn, you soon start to earn it back a thousand times over in every facet of not just your other studies, but also your whole life and well-being.
THIS IS WHAT IS KNOWN AS “AN INVESTMENT”, AND “LEARNING HOW TO LEARN” IS PROBABLY THE QUICKEST RETURN, LOWEST COST, LOWEST RISK INVESTMENT YOU WILL MAKE IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE.
If you would like to be introduced to a trained and experienced study technology professional who will give you a free introduction to “HOW TO LEARN”, with no other obligation, phone (01342) 810151 any weekday between 11.00am & 9.00pm.
S.A.F.E. Is A Not-For-Profit Community Support Group Formed In 1975.