Now that’s a loaded question, because everyone is a complex learning puzzle. There are right brain learners and left brain learners. Both are equally brilliant in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to learn (regardless of what you were taught growing up). The right brain learner prefers to see information, physically touch or use movement, intuitively feel what to do next, perform multitasking, use creativity to achieve a goal, put things together . . .. A left brain learner wants to read, write, add up the pros and cons logically to achieve a goal, problem solve, do one thing at a time, analyze . . .. The important thing is that learning you are a left brain or a right brain learner is a piece to your learning puzzle, but it’s only the beginning.
In addition to these pieces of the learning puzzle, we need to ask, “How do emotions and past programming affect learning, how long can the person hold attention, what time of day is learning optimal . . .?” There are many learning questions and no simple answer.
If you were humiliated in school growing up, it negatively affects your confidence and learning ability for the rest of your life. If your attention span is 10 minutes and you are consistently taught all new information in one-two hour lectures, it’s not going to be effective for you. If you work or study in your “down time” of day, (when you are most tired) you may as well add three times the amount of time to accomplish the same task it would have taken you to accomplish in your “best time” of day.
Let’s try an analogy. Let’s say our brains are like computers, and we have classrooms and companies filled with these computers. Many bosses, spouses, teachers, friends . . . are cramming Apple software into already programmed IBM computers. And if there is no converter to make a connection, learning does not take place—instead confusion and frustration emerge. However, like the computer, if a learning how to learnconverter is created for the information recipients, which help them discover how they learn, then they will learn; thus, dissolving frustration and wanting to end one’s life (or someone else’s). Learning to learn creates a filter, that takes any information from the outside, and helps convert it into a personalized learning system.
When you get in touch with a few of the pieces to your learning puzzle, communicate how you learn to other people in your life. If someone is teaching you something explain to him that you need to SEE the information or HEAR the information or actively USE the information to learn it best. Explain what happens to you internally when they yell or get frustrated with you. Let them know that you need to learn in short or long increments of time. Also when you are teaching or explaining something, ask the individual(s) which way she would like to receive the information. Then present it in a way that your audience of one or 1,000 can understand it. If you have many different learning styles in an audience, explain your information in many ways. Over 80% of people are visual, so presenting visually will reach most of your audience each time.
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