Different minds, backgrounds, life experiences, and cultures equals different ways of learning. Once you know how you or your participants learn, you can better support yourself or your learning community.
How YOU learn
Learning Strategies Matter
From years of teaching people of all ages and backgrounds, I naturally started to notice patterns in the way people functioned in social groups such as classrooms and community organizations. Much of the way we act is related to our genetics, family and caregivers, environment, culture, society, group of friends, and the way we see ourselves. We are so bombarded from outside forces that sometimes we do not even realize how we act or why we act in certain ways.
The "ego" is so strong that many of us have developed counterproductive defense mechanisms or habits in order to protect our "self image." Much of this is subconscious. Some of these mechanisms are very useful. However, others can really give us a hard time.
I have been teaching master's courses in learning theory (educational psychology) for quite a long time. Coupling that with years of master's classes in teaching methodology, I believe I have a pretty good understanding on how the "cognitive" mind accepts, saves, and uses information. I work a lot with teachers and students to help them use cognitive techniques as teaching and learning tools. Our minds are actually very delicate and a bit tricky.
One thing is for sure. The brain loves a challenge. It is through challenges that we can learn and grow. However, some challenges already have a "bad rap" in our minds. Let's say learning math... for example. So when you think about tackling math, the pain centers go off in your brain, you go into survival mode, fear rears its ugly head and acts as a filter, and in the end you block yourself from learning math. The cycle continues. "I knew I wasn't GOOD AT math."
This simply is not true. It is just that your brain has not learned the proper way to help itself with math.
Much of learning comes down to employing correct strategies. So let's say math is just too painful for me right now. This means I need to get my brain to learn some skills and strategies that I can apply to math learning little by little. Where and how can I gain those strategies? You can obtain them by activating your brain with something new and build skills and strategies that will transfer. This takes a little time, but it is completely worth the effort. You will begin a transformation that will affect many areas of your life and the people in your life. It has a ripple effect. The first step is to be WILLING to try.