We are in school.  It may be in school as we traditionally think of it or rather, the school of life.  Either way, we are constantly learning new things.  Some people staunchly believe that once they feel the dry diploma in their sweaty palms, school is done and their stresses will subside.  Most people know this is laughable.

Yet, some people do stop pondering their ability to learn.  For them, learning is a static skill accomplished during the nose-dripping and scab-peeling years of unrefined youth.  It is not.

Our ability to learn changes with the experiences we gain.  As we incorporate new ideas into our memory we slightly change the network fueling our being.   It is wise to periodically evaluate your ability to learn, especially in times of profound growth (you’ll know what that means when it happens).

Despite our changing outer and inner worlds, we can still make choices and cling onto ideas that make us who we are.  Our choices and our upbringing inform our learning abilities too, leaving many of us with a primary learning style (that may or may not change over time).

A familiar theory of learning is that we have individual ways of learning, ways that appeal to our primary or preferred mode of information transference (these different ways are known as “learning styles”).  For example, if a student says they like pictures and colour-coding their notes, one could think they are a visual learner or have too much time on their hands.

Searching the web for learning styles reveals its conflicted ideology.  There are reports of three main learning styles (visual, auditory and tactile) or reports of seven styles (too many, read here for more).  There are researchers who praise its simple virtue while others scoff at its overzealous oversimplification.

Our thinking and learning abilities are more flexible than once surmised.  While you may believe you have a dominant learning style, remember that you may benefit from different types of learning for different things.  That student may do well with a visual learning style when confronting chunks of info, but that same student may do better with kinesthetic learning while learning to drive.  (Kinesthetic learning is physical learning, one that is done through a personal sense of touch or using your body; e.g. learning how to swim by actually swimming instead of just watching someone swim)

Eventually, all learning comes down to you just doing what you need to do.  If you want to learn how to think better, you need to think.  If you want to learn how to read faster, you need to read.  If you want to learn how to drive well, you need to drive.

No one trusts a driver who learned by just watching a video.  At least, not a human driver.

 

 

 

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