The Learning Process
Understanding that we are the only species that have all four semi-autonomous but integrated learning systems how do we optimise that integrated system to learn far more efficiently? The answer is the application of the
Stage 1 - Building Knowledge
The naturally occurring learning experiences that happen spontaneously for billions of us every day are almost always initiated by a prompt of some form that causes us to feel an emotional response. A prompt creates within us a range of emotions such as amazement, awe, surprise or even anger, and these in turn can initiate our sense of curiosity. It is this notion of curiosity that drives our desire to better understand what it is that we have experienced. To replicate the natural prompts that initiate learning, educators need to become increasingly creative in developing prompts that stimulate learning.
Our 23 senses gather data about the world outside of our bodies and this data stream allows the brain to make informed decisions about how we should dress, who to spend time with, what music we will listen to, how to spell 'cat', remember the parts of a cell, and where Constantinople is or was! Knowledge is accumulated via our senses.
When knowledge was rare and hard to access it was important to remember a lot of knowledge but with the advent of devices that can access the Internet quickly and easily the amount and the nature of the information we need to remember needs to be reassessed.
Stage 2 - Creating Ideas
Ideas are created when our brain senses and notices that things are changing (variables), and this change causes other changes according to a particular pattern. Our universal sense of curiosity and wonderment often leads us to interrogate our observations of patterns more deeply. This is achieved through asking additional questions that improves our existing knowledge and understanding. By asking increasingly clever questions, the clearer and more precise the developing pattern becomes and we begin to develop an idea for that pattern within a particular context.
Ideas are the start point for us being able to predict how that idea may apply in other contexts but as we have only experienced one context so far so any predictions at this stage would more likely be a guess than a prediction. The more contexts that relationship between the variables (the pattern) is applied to the more reliable our prediction for contexts we have never experienced, becomes.