If you’re like many people, you spent much of your youth in school, sat in a lot of classes, listened to a lot of lectures, and did a lot of homework. Maybe along the way you even learned something.
I say “maybe” because despite all the “changes” in educational curriculum over the last three decades, school is still focused on learning by listening, repetition and memorization. Unfortunately few schools teach to multiple learning styles in the classroom. This is true despite the fact that not all of us (truth be told, very few of us) learn best this way.
Mention “learning something new” to many people and they shudder with memories of bad educational experiences. A teacher friend of mine shared how challenging it could be to get some parents to come to “Back-to-School Night” and parent-teacher conferences because it reminded them of their own negative experiences in school. You yourself may have quit college or skipped it altogether due to negative associations with school and learning. And, understandably so, it can be frustrating to feel like you are always working twice as hard as everyone else. But, you’re not alone.
Studies have shown that people, both adults and children, learn best in different ways, ways that correspond to the ways they see the world. Discovering your unique learning style can totally change your attitude toward learning a new skill or subject for the better. So how do you learn best? It’s easy to discover your individualized learning style and change the way you feel about learning something new.
Do you like to dive head first into an experience, see what happens and learn from the outcome?
Perhaps you learn best through stories that illustrate key points and allow for dialogue about the meaning and importance of what occurred.
Or you might prefer a detailed, comprehensive investigation that proceeds systematically and is non-interactive.
Do you grasp new learning intuitively, understanding new concepts from small bits of information? Or do you take a more logical, methodical approach, gathering and organizing data that you then compare and contrast intellectually?
When you engage in learning that is geared toward your learning style, the process is joyful and the outcome is meaningful and satisfying. Only then can learning something new begin to change your life in a positive way. You will find that you retain important information more easily, and put new skills to use more effortlessly.
Understanding your individualized learning style can make learning a new language, instrument, etc., easier and more enjoyable. Getting started is easy. Take 10 minutes to recall one learning event that was enjoyable and meaningful for you, and then one learning event that was painful and difficult.
Now ask yourself these basic questions:
How were the two events presented differently?
What about the enjoyable event made it so enjoyable for you?
What about the difficult event made it so difficult for you?
What do the answers to the above questions tell you about how you learn?
You can learn more about understanding your unique learning style and how to take a learning style questionnaire or survey by contacting Gary Jordan, Ph.D., at (800) 942-3934, or you can visit their website at http://www.vrftsuccessforlife.com.
Take the time to find out how you learn best so you can learn something new!
About The Author
Gary Jordan, Ph.D., has over 27 years of experience in clinical psychology, behavioral assessment, individual development, and coaching. He earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology – Berkeley. He’s the co-founder of Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd., a consulting firm that specializes in helping people discover their true skills and talents. http://www.vrft.com.