Thursday, July 24, 2014

How Students Learn?

Little children learn through observation. A little child told me this. It was such an interesting observation.

They observe people and situations very carefully. They don't like speaking so much. It is too much work. Language is not their strong point. So they observe anything and everything around them. They observe their parents, their siblings, the objects in their house, the world outside, school, friends and more.

As we grow up, we become aware of what we are observing and what kind of an impact it has on us.  We soon realize that we have a choice to decide what to observe in our lives and what not to.

We also control our reaction to particular observations in our environment. At the end of the day each individual whether student or adult, has the final decision on how to react to a particular observation. This reaction can be negative or positive.

We can understand and critically analyze what we are observing, rather than reacting negatively or positively. We must not just react without thinking, because in the process we lose out on valuable energy and time that we could have used on a more productive task.

Over time we move from observation, to learning through exploration and experimentation. We start doing things. In the process, we fail. We fail a lot.

Learning through Failure. Let us make failure fun
These children did not mind failing in a game they were playing

Failure has a very important developmental role in a student’s growth process. This cannot be pre-planned, but parents must encourage their children to try new ideas and work on innovative projects whenever they can.

If they fail at a project, parents must push their child to try again. Over time the student develops a comfort level with failure and understands that it is part of the growth process.

Every time you fail, you give yourself a chance to re-evaluate what you are doing. You can then re-structure your life based on this re-evaluation.

Failure helps you because:-
1)         It makes you vulnerable
2)         It makes you stand up for something
3)         It makes you take a risk
4)         It makes you try something new

These are all essential ingredients of human discovery and exploration, that will open up new avenues and opportunities in your life.

A good example that comes to my mind is a little child learning how to walk for the first time. The child will fall down the first few times it tries to walk. But it will not stop trying there. It would keep trying, fall down and try again. This would keep happening until one day the child would finally learn how to walk.

The child was so small and did not know what success and failure actually was. He never thought about what other people where thinking of him. So it accepted failure as part of the process and soon learned how to walk. It is a similar process for the child with learning how to ride a bike or learning a new language.

Learning How to Learn
Kids can teach themselves if given a chance

Can learning be thought? Can critical thinking be thought? These are questions that educators have been trying to answer for a long time. Each individual will answer this question in a different way. I asked a few of my friends the above two questions and some ways it could be developed. These were some of the answers I got:-

1)  Develop the habit of reading.
2)  Lots of unique life experiences.
3)  Studying thinkers and history of the world.
4)  Fall in love with learning, so we can displace ignorance with knowledge.
5)  Creating something of real world value in a field that you are crazy passionate about.
6)  Travel
7)  Start a business

This will give us time to reflect on our own life. This reflection over time will develop in you a tendency to understand the rules by which the world works. You will then understand what information to take in and what information to leave out. Eventually you will be confident enough, to teach yourself awesome new things. You are then ready to go on another learning adventure, to a new unexplored world

The best adventure of your life

It took me 18 years to find out why learning is beautiful? But it is the most beautiful gift life has ever given me. A new world has opened up for me now. Every experience is a learning experience, everyone is a teacher, everything around me is a learning tool.

There is no one single formula to learning how to learn. But some of the essential ingredients to develop a unique understanding of your self and the world around you:-

·     Infinite Curiosity for the world around you
·     Never Ending passion for learning
·     Completing and Overcoming Self Defined Challenges

The above three points give you time to reflect about your life, about the way the world works and about your place in it. It gets you started on the path of self-discovery and exploration. From whatever little I know of it, I guarantee you it is going to be the best adventure of your life.

Let us learn together
Tweet @Abhishekshetty_

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