How do people learn
Learning can be something nice, intense, magical, very interesting or boring to death. That depends on the attitude in which you are facing this new situation before you. If you ever heard that children learn faster than adults, they lied to you. As a matter of fact, when learning, we all are basically the same kind of people.
How do we learn
After the previous paragraph, you surely want some extra details. Learning activates some electrochemical changes in your brain, it makes your body free some special neurotransmitters and it also allows us to create new ideas and thoughts.
But let's say it in plain and simple English: When you learn something in your life, either directly or indirectly, this moves you to a change of the attitude in which you face similar situations in the future. This is to learn. Would you like to know what can trigger a change of attitude in you? Look at a list of influences you can receive and how they can affect you.
+ We learn from what we live. Either if you hit your finger or if you see a person rushing because he is late for work; what you live can change the way in which you will behave in the future. That is, teach you something.
+ We learn from what others move us to imagine. As we progress in the reading of a tale, for example, we can recreate in our brains what is happening with the characters and getting aware of the goods and mistakes of their attitudes. We also experience that when we watch a film. It is not real, but it recreates what happens with characters before our eyes anyway. These things can teach you too.
+ We learn from what others explain us. As we grow older, we get a greater capacity of reasoning and accrue a good amount of previous knowledge. With that, words and concepts can become excellent ways to receive new ideas that may be useful later. It is always nice to listen or read to someone who is trying to instruct us.
What many people usually forget is that learning requires some additional conditions:
+ Nobody can learn in an uncomfortable environment. If the place is dirty, it looks sad or it has many distractions, we will not be able to concentrate in what we need to think in order to learn.
+ Nobody can learn from a person in whom he does not trust. This is the main corollary or the previous point. If there is no trust between who teaches and who learns, this turn into a distraction which is too difficult to fight.
+ Nobody can learn in a cold way. Believe it or not, the attitude of who teaches is which determines the attitude in which the student learns. How will a student learn if the teacher gives his lesson with fear, boredom or if he is thinking in when he is going to collect his next pay check? Don't you think he will take things as he receives them?
As you see, learning depends on many things that are around you; which does not mean you do not have responsibility in your learning. Continue reading:
How to learn better
+ Face the matter with joy. Who told you learning is boring, hard, useless or stupid? How long has your brain been washed? Come on! Cheer up! Everything you learn will make you a better person! Go get it!
+ Consider if you are afraid or whether something inside you is distracting you from what you learn. In many occasions, unpleasant things that happened to us in the past make us build a barrier against similar situations (it was a negative learning: you learnt to reject of fear something). Can this be happening to you? Look inside yourself for thoughts that may be blocking you from learning and consider if it is worth changing it.
+ Use what you learn. As soon as you can, practise or, at least, summarize what you have just learnt. Practising it or rewriting it are two of the best ways of fixing what you learn in your brain.
+ Rest. Believe it or not, taking breaks is what helps a person learn best. When you are learning, you fill your 'learning tank' with new knowledge; when you rest, your brain processes what it has received, keeps the good parts and drops the rest. That said, the best moment to take a rest is when you are doing things best. That way, your brain is going to keep this information and not the wrong one.
I am sure that this will help you a lot in your studies; and, if you are a teacher, have you already thought in some ways in which you can use this concepts to improve your teaching?
I farewell. I've got some homework.
Colleagues + Teachers