Discover Your Brain Strengths to Navigate Life
Practical neuroscience and how your brain is wired to learn and think are the keys to successful, self-directed, accelerated learning. Few people know that a secret to fast, easy learning is teaching someone who is interested in the same subject you want to learn. This method reduces traditional learning time by 50% or more. When people of like-mind come together and learn from each other, by teaching one another, the highest form of collaborative learning occurs.
William Glasser, MD, American psychiatrist and author says:
It’s really quite easy to reach that 95% plateau referred to by Dr. Glasser. The first practical neuroscience principle embedded in this model is that multi-sensory learning increases retention. The second principle is that teaching strengthens your resolve through a personal commitment to a fellow learner. The third principle is that there is a synergy of minds joined to learn something together.
The following steps will guide you through the process:
Step 1: Identify the benefits
Document the benefits desired from the learning experience upon which you are about to embark. Learning is voluntary and your brain must have powerful reasons and positive emotions to stay focused, particularly when distractions arise and available time seems to diminish. Ask yourself questions like: Why do I want to engage in this learning process? What are my desired outcomes? How will I and/or others benefit from my newly acquired knowledge and skills? How will I feel, as I progress and reach my goals? Will I be happy that I expended energy and time for this learning experience one year from now? Be sure to commit your ideas in a visual form like a “mind map.”
Step 3: Identify learning resources
Use your instincts, when selecting ways to search for resources. They may include consulting with a subject matter expert, Googling key words or browsing the subject area of a library or book store. Your instincts will guide you to research methods that will be most effective for you. Think about your strongest sensory pathways to learn (Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic), when selecting your resources or courses. As an example, if you are a strong Kinesthetic learner, you will want a hands-on approach, as well as to be physically comfortable and have the ability to move about. Most people least prefer Auditory learning, so lectures and audio tapes would typically represent a poor choice.
Step2: Select another person or two interested in your subject
This is the most important part of the process. Find people you get along with, who have similar interests and values. Share your reasons for learning and ideas about learning resources. Discuss the ways your “learning team” prefers to learn and think. This will guide your “learning plan.” Be sure to develop goals and milestones to measure progress. Create visual documentation of this process and review it from time to time.
Step 3: Teach one another
Teaching one another will come naturally and easily from the previous steps. The process may be a combination of self-directed learning, coupled with email and interpersonal interactions. Consider video conferencing when face-to-face meetings are not possible. Communicate key learning points and insights. Socratic questions are always a great way to learn. The more questions the better; the brain that composes a great question already has an inkling of the answer. It’s only a matter of time until awareness, connections and break-through learning occur. The time frame is accelerated when two or more people engage in the Socratic process.
In conclusion, teaching is the highest form of learning. It’s fun, easy and quickens the learning process. You can trust your brain and the brains of your “learning team” to achieve outcomes beyond your wildest dreams.
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