Have you ever felt that a small number of people around you inherently learn faster and better than you? Do you know that there are scientific ways to excel in learning?
This article will explain the secrets behind learning in a scientific way.
Let’s start with the word Potential, which is defined as the capacity to become or develop into something in the future, become better than you are now. Do something new, that you can’t do now. It is an unrealized ability. What’s exciting about potential is that’s how we get there is learning.
The key reason in learning is your mindset and people tend to have one of two mindsets.
- Fixed mindset – It’s this belief that you’re innately set in how you are. Your intelligence is a certain level. It’s like you got what you got, and you can make the most of what you got, but you can’t change what you got, so that’s a fixed mindset.
- Growth mindset – It is the idea that I can get better, I can learn, I can change, I can improve. In fact, current research shows that our brain is elastic, so even if you have done badly in some areas like science / math, you can master the area if you get the right kind of instructions. Growth mindset focuses on continuous improvements.
Learning journey comprises of three steps:
We will now go deeper into each step to understand the process.
Step 1: Learn
Bloom’s Hierarchy of Learning
It’s a model that has been around for a long time and the reason it’s stood the test of time is it accidentally tapped into neuroscience principles before we really knew what they were. Bloom explains that there are six different levels of learning.
- The first level is memorizing something. So, 12 * 9 = 108, you can memorize this.
- After that, you can understand that you are actually doing multiplication.
- Then there’s application, using mathematics for managing finances or something similar.
- You could be analysing, i.e. use math for statistical analysis of market or something like that.
- You might be creating or building something new out of the math.
- Last part involves evaluation like you can use math to find how good something is.
So we’re working with all six levels of learning. So that’s Bloom, levels of learning, so you got to think about which level are you trying to get to.
Kolb’s Learning Cycle
It says that there’s a perception continuum and that goes from conceptual or abstract and idea a model, to concrete experience. You’re actually having an experience with that. And then there’s the processing continuum, which means that you may reflect on it or observe somebody else doing it. And then there’s active experimentation, that you’re playing with it a little bit. And then as a learning designer, what you want to do is walk people around the model so you want to make sure that they have opportunities to do reflection and abstract thinking.
Hippocampus: a key role player in learning
The hippocampus plays a major role in how we learn because all of our senses are directly tied to it. All the sensory nerves in the body go directly to that structure and how we take in information. The hippocampus serves as our data drive. So when you’re learning something, it’s the recording device that takes that learning in. And it holds that information and then it ultimately takes that information and pushes it out to the rest of the brain so that it goes into memory. So what makes hippocampus active?
The key thing which turns on hippocampus is FOCUS. So that has to happen for you to truly learn. So this is kind of blowing the doors off our idea that multitasking exists.
Now, if you ask people, they’ll say, “Yeah, I multitask all the time, I’m really good at it.” But all the research studies show that we’re not great at it. We think we are, but when we actually look at how accurate we were or how much we retained, did we do a good job with those things we were juggling.
So let’s take this situation for an example. You’re in a lecture and you’re paying attention, you’re trying to learn, you’re focusing, but let’s say you decide to check your messages at the same time. Well, what’s going to happen is you cannot do both. If you start reading your messages, you won’t actually hear the words that are being said and you may be reading the messages, but you’re not hearing the lecturer. And then all of a sudden you’ll start to listening again, but you’re looking at the words, but you’re not really reading the words. So what happens is, you are doing a half job at both. There are holes in both the task. You won’t read every word of that message correctly, you may misunderstand what was said, you won’t hear every word of the lecture. You’ll miss some of what is being said.
When we go back and forth, we’re not multitasking, we’re switch tasking. So, It is always a better idea to focus on one task at a time.
I have one question for you. When you’re focusing how many minutes do you think your brain can do that?
Think about it.
Recent research found that we can focus maximum of 20 minutes in one go. So it is suggested to have a short break while focusing on a long time-consuming task. It’s like 20 min work and 5 min break. Repeat this cycle to get the best results. So, you need to break things into chunks and then do it.
I follow this method from a long time. I can assure you that the results obtained using this method are truly mind-blowing. Give it a try and let me know your opinion.
Also, it has been found that taking handwritten notes helps to focus.
Thus, we have looked at the first step of the Learning journey. In the next part of this article, I’ll continue with Step 2 and Step 3 i.e. Remember and Do, which are also an essential part of the learning process.
So, Stay Tuned! Thank you!
I hope the article helped you in some way or the other. Please like, share & comment.