Learning is such a critical area of one’s life. In essence life is a major school. At every stage of life, from birth to adulthood, learning occurs in several strategies. There is a difference though between structured or formal learning and what I call “fun learning” or passive learning eLearning. For example, the type of learning that occurs when one is reading an enjoyable text or watching popular movie or written. This is not to mitigate the value of this type of learning but to call awareness of the phenomenon that usually the training produced is not preplanned or based on specific outcomes. Consequently, the training opportunity may be more expendable. The keys to learning effectively are purpose, self-awareness, and organization. The precursors to this triad add the skills and background knowledge necessary to create the trail for effective learning .
For our purpose here, we’ll be discussing structured learning as it the most reliable and standard. By the time a child enters kindergarten, he was already come across some structured learning environment albeit without his conscious knowledge. He/she may already be using the word “school” nonchalantly. Kindergarten may even are more structured and may be categorized as “real” learning, perhaps because this is the place for the foundation of literacy skills. Most people generally have attached to memories about their experiences as a kindergartener. Thus, it qualifies the aim area of effective learning. This might be a remains of the type of learning inherent in wanting to walk as a child, feed yourself, figuring out how to reach the high ledge, or tie one’s shoe laces.
Purpose is synonymous with motivation in this context. The greater one’s desires or goals towards achieving a certain outcome are, the greater the aim. Purpose ‘s the reason one is engaged in studying something in particular. Identifying the aim may be easier if the endeavor is self-induced or voluntary. In the case of an involuntary situation, it is even more important to identify a motive. It is effective pedagogical practice to guide young individuals in a conversation about the objectives for learning about a particular topic and connect those to their previous knowledge.
First things first, knowing the aim for doing anything is essential. This must be strategic and deliberate. We will have choices even when it appears as though we don’t. They may be difficult choices with pleasant or unpleasant consequences. When a novice finds himself with a prescribed course which he feels is “useless”, “irrelevant inch or “boring”, he’s the option of not taking the course or create a target or purpose that is personally authentic and relevant to himself at the starting point of the course. For example: inch I don’t like French. I am bad at foreign dialects, but I like history. inch So a possible question to ask to make your purpose is: What is the role of England, its people and the language in the history of _____? You fill the blank. Another point of focus could be the French language of today versus. yesterday.
Authenticity and interests are perfect here. The novice has to take responsibility to define their own purpose for studying something based on his interests, educational and or social strengths, or just a pure desire or goal to do well. The purpose here is that the novice has to set up a reason for studying something, which could be as specific or as universal as he wants it. However, it must resonate with a core area of personality or value or both.
This brings us to another location requirement- self-awareness. The novice can use these questions as a guide: Who are you as a personality? What matters to you? What do you value? How did you learn what you learned before? What techniques did you use? Knowing “thyself” is one of the best given guidelines. This is a lifetime quest but we begin by watching ourselves and reflecting consistently. Tools such as multiple brains, IQ, and emotional brains tests can provide some information and directions. Take responsibility to your own learning. Some environments and teaching methodologies are more optimized for learning. However, the greatest responsibility still lies with you. After the novice has satisfactorily answered the questions he’s to apply the findings. For example, an extrovert needs to ask questions and engage in discussions and discover alternate, lively tools to engage with the materials if the instructor doesn’t provide them. An introvert may need to take large notes and engage in discussions in small groups. This brings us to the third part of effective learning- organization.
It is the “how to” area of learning. There is basic organization , involving common sensible tasks such as being prepared with tools for learning, consistency of work, and active involvement through deep listening and wholesome presence. If you are in class, try to be in class. May deeper level of organization required to reach the smt of Gardner’s multiple brains theory. Effective learning is about understanding, applying, and creating with your new found knowledge. This is lowest to highest. Your familiarity with self-awareness applies in developing a personal learning plan. Only the novice can answer the questions of how he finds best. The basic philosophy of learning of how to complete an activity eventually turns to forming automatic habits.
Mastering an art though takes strategic focus and purpose. The rapper and producer, Maurice Young states: “To be a master at any skill, it takes the entire effort of your heart, mind, and soul working together in tandem. Thus, collaboration and synergism are important. Aligning your purpose for learning including your familiarity with self-awareness means your method of organizing your learning plan. The novice may need a more aggressive plan for the subject in which he feels weak. A visual, oral and a tactile novice may need different plans that are customized and personalized. This is not so much about learning in general. It is how effectively we are learning for the long-term.
As individuals, we have developed habits and practices of studying that may be more or less effective, appropriate or inappropriate for certain tasks. Sometimes, they become so deeply ingrained they may have become automatic. However, how effective are they? How do they ticket with your short and long term goals for studying the subject or course? Short-term goals overlap more with listening, note-taking, time management, being trained in the requirements of the course, knowing your instructor’s style of teaching and expectations. Short-term goals also have short-term gratifications. Long-term goals however are more futuristic and valuable as the actualized learning and skills acquired are best for society. This is where marrying your brain as with your purpose for studying, your heart as with your core values and or your personality and your soul as with having a vision of sharing this knowledge with others can have the greatest affect your education.