What inspires one to learn?
Why learning should be customized?
Learning is personal. All do not learn in the same way. Thus learning has to be customized. However, this may not be so feasible in the class by a teacher. I recall one of my sessions with Std 12 Students where I took Economics. Pawan, a promising student of the class did not complete the work after repeated reminders. I was a bit annoyed with this, on inquiring further, he replied to me that he did not do the work as he did not understand it. Meaning, there was a fault with the learning of the topic and that is why he did not complete the task. So, the knowledge about different patterns of learning was discussed in the class that I am sharing here.
Knowledge is not a proprietary product. It cannot be generated. Like energy it changes it forms. So, knowledge can be transferred from one form to another and thus learning becomes a customized affair. So the main question arises, how do I learn? Or What inspires me to learn?
In 21st century education, we have many forms of learning the same content like text, image, audio, video, animation, etc. Thus, learning is not a boring affair anymore. Also, the present day parents also see to it that the children are availed with the necessary facility and content for the purpose of the study. Even the schools are implementing technology to teach children. Now, the ball goes on the court of the child, the individual, to learn. There comes the concept, “What inspires me to learn?”
Let’s see the parameters of what factors could affect one’s learning and how can one customize the learning experience.
How do I Learn?
1. Place of Learning:
The first in the list is the place. It may so happen that you may be learning or understanding when you are at particular place. Identify which place is most suitable for you for learning. It can be your classroom, school, campus, drawing room, library, etc. When you want to deeply understand and learn a topic then go to such a place and learn. This will also set your commitment levels to a high note as when you are at that place for a limited time you will quickly learn the topic in that time gap.
A silent and tidy place suits me more for learning
2. Time of Learning:
A particular candidate may learn only at a particular time of the day. Identify your peak learning time of the day. Is it early morning? Late Night? Just after lunch time? Etc. To identify, which is your most productive time period, you will have to try learning at different times of the day and then identify which is the topic you learnt the most and at what time of the day. This way you will come to know which time is most suitable to you for learning. Once you know about such a productive time of the day, make your schedules in such manner and follow it.
3. Time Gap:
Many a time, it may not be the long hours that you sit for learning, be effective, it could be that 15 min, the gap between your lunch and arrival of your father at home that would escalate your learning. Time Gaps are short periods that act as a transition between switching from one task to another. Such time gaps could be waiting for your Bus at home, while you travel in the bus, during school recess, your library lecture, etc. Identify such time gaps and keep your book or material handy so that as soon the gap arises you can start learning.
If a particular subject is what motivates you to learn, fine, learn the subject well. Some subject would sound interesting to you for learning and some may sound boring. Fine, do not worry, master those subjects that you find interesting. Having done this, you will increase your self-confidence and it will help you learn for the uninteresting subject as well. Have a commitment to yourself that if it is subject of my wish then I will master all the topics in it. Such commitment will not only help you in the subject of your choice but also in other subjects as well.
If you identify that a particular teacher inspires you more for learning, then that is the best part. Just approach the teacher more often, ask for solutions and get inspired for learning. Everyone has a favourite teacher, and there is always a thought in the back of the mind that if that teacher teaches me the topic I would learn it easily. Bingo, that’s where you have hit the bull’s eye . It's not about deciding your favourite teacher and who’s not but it's about getting your learning better if it is explained by such teacher.
When I am with my teacher, I learn better...
Some material may prove to be more helpful in remembering certain topics. This is completely respective to your learning pattern. You may find the language of material published by X publisher to be easy than that of Y publisher. You need to identify that which material sounds easy to you for learning and memorizing. For this, you may need to refer to more than one material. This may sound boring and uninteresting. However, you could ask your friends to share the material with you for a day or so to understand the writing pattern and presentation of the material. Materials nowadays come in different dimensions, layout, and coverage. Some material may have colorful printing, more diagrams, more tips, etc. whereas, some material would just have content enough for you to appear the exam. Just identify such material and get inspirited to learn.
Gone are the days of referring to boring lectures or textbooks. We have content available in different forms and media. Material for K12 is available in pen drives, DVDs, software, online websites, etc. Have an overview of the different media and select a media which inspires to learn better and grasp more. If you are comfortable refereeing to online websites then go ahead register into them. If you are more comfortable watching the video session over DVD, then also fine. Select your media and learn.
Overhead and Multimedia Projectors help me grasp better...
Technology here means the sum total of the entire pedagogy. You may refer the topic from the textbook, interact with the content in software, give an online test and record an interaction with a virtual platform. Whatever the means be, keep learning. In order to identify what suits you more, you will have to try some of it. Your commitment to learning the topic is more important than the pattern of learning.
I learn better if I can select what to learn...
9. Technique or Formulae:
Some faculties have a set formulae or technique for teaching the students a particular topic. If you find that the technique has worked for making you learn in a particular subject then try to apply the same in other subjects. Formulas are shortcuts that you apply to remember a topic. For eg. Writing on the top of the textbook page in the margin, highlighting particular sentences, jotting down the keywords of the topic, writing alternative words over that used in the text, writing alternative language to describe the same, etc. are some of the techniques you can use to learn better.
One is said to have learnt the topic if the same is retained in the memory and can be instantly referred and recalled back when needed. Thus, memorization affects learning and if you can memorize it well that means you have learnt well. There are different techniques of memorizing a topic, drawing special symbols, giving it a mnemonic code, preparing sentences for a list of items, etc. Select a technique and keep learning.
Logic is the mechanism that will act as the inspiration to learn. It stands for the reason for learning a particular topic. Logic means the way you think. Now, if you think theoretical about math then your topic of math won’t be as strong as it needs to be. Many times, it's how the teacher defines the topic that creates the interest in the topic, this is logic. You will require logic the most in learning the topics of history and certain theoretical topics which otherwise will appear to be boring. Thus, rather than mugging up the topic, ask for the reason of learning the topic. The reason may seem to be more inspiring that you may learn the topic itself through the reason.
All students are not proactive; rather, all candidates are not proactive. Some students do require to be persuaded for the task to be over. Thus, if you require such persuasion then ask your teacher or elder of the house to set your persuasion reminders. Ask them to remind you of the work or learning to be completed in a particular time. Set reminders in your mobile phones or alerts in your calendars that will tick off on particular date and time. Ask your friend to persuade you for certain scholastic topics.
I learn better if I am asked to do it on board...
Ways of Learning:
Thus, there are a number of ways you can learn. You need to identify which learning style or method suits you more. There can one or a mix of different styles for different subjects and topics, try your best by implementing more than one style in one topic and experience the difference yourself.
About Pawan, he submitted the work very next day and is now found to be more attentive in the class.
We as teachers need to understand this and try to cater to the different learning patterns of the children. I know that it is not so easy to implement as easily told, however, it’s definitely worth trying. Wish you all the best.