Learning is...knowing HOW to learn


When you think about it, how were you taught to learn? For most the answer is -- I wasn't. I was told WHAT to learn, HOW MUCH to learn, what was REQUIRED to learn. But rarely ever how to learn it.

Author Tony Buzan the "father of visual learning," calls attention to it in his book, "Use Both Sides of your Brain," first published the in 1970's. Among many lessons contained there was how to learn a subject. He compared it to taking a journey. Would you start a journey without a map? Never! When you take a trip don't you know the destination? Of course.

He went on to show the map would indicate the bends in the road, the uphill drives, the lovely coastal roads. You know how much time to spend and where the difficulties were in the upcoming journey.

Buzan suggests a subject should be reviewed the same way. Using the example of a book, he showed how to review the entire book quickly just perusing it to locate the "uphill" or difficult areas as well as the places you can coast. At times it might not be read as a narrative - beginning to end. Perhaps the first couple chapters are already understood, they could be perused quickly. Chapter five is where the meat of the matter exists, better to leave plenty of time to read and re-read it to gain a full understanding.

Not linear, learning is coming at the subject from many angles and putting time into the portions that require it. Once understood a massive textbook or pages of URLs are no longer fear inspiring. Rather it's an opportunity to add to existing understanding and to ignore or treat lightly what is already mastered. A learner can be laser focused on the new material. Make sense?

Share this with someone having difficulty or who has never been taught HOW to learn a subject. It's something they can use for the rest of their lives.

How about you? How were you taught to learn?

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