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Learning To Learn

Learning To Learn

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For the first twenty-two years or so of our lives, our main “job” is learning. The bulk of our time is spent in classrooms acquiring new knowledge. And then, once we graduate, we feel like the education phase of our lives is done and now it’s time to go out into the world. Have you ever thought about how odd that idea is? That only a quarter of our lives should be devoted to learning, and then we should simply rest on our laurels for the remaining three-quarters of it?

It’s an erroneous idea – but one many have absorbed, at least subconsciously. But school need not be your exclusive provider of learning. Just because you’ve finished your formal education, doesn’t mean that your education is over!

Many, perhaps most, of history’s greatest men were autodidacts – those who devote themselves to self-education, either in addition to or as a substitute to formal schooling. A fantastic example of this is author Louis L’Amour.

L’Amour was one of America’s most prolific and manliest fiction writers. During his career he cranked out over 120 dime Western novels as well as several collections of short stories and poems. What makes Louis L’Amour’s story all the more remarkable is that he was almost entirely self-taught.

 

 

Due to family hardships, L’Amour dropped out of school when he was fifteen and spent the next eight years traveling around the American West working odd jobs on cattle ranches, farms, lumber mills, and even mines. To earn extra money L’Amour boxed in small prizefights around the country and earned a reputation as a formidable opponent. While in his twenties L’Amour became a merchant marine and traveled the globe via steamship.

During all this time, L’Amour was voraciously reading books. As soon as he set foot in a new town, he’d locate the local library. If libraries weren’t

around, he’d skip meals so he’d have enough money to order books from catalogs.

 

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All of his experiences while traveling, all the books he read, and all the notes he wrote laid the groundwork for his later successful career. But even after L’Amour became an established writer, his pursuit of learning continued and rewarded him greatly. He is a perfect example of the fascinating life one can create for himself when he makes the commitment to be a lifelong learner.

If you want to become the best man you can be, you need to adopt a mindset of lifelong learning. Below we explain why you should become a lifelong learner and how to do it.

  • Establish goals.
  • Determine essential information.
  • Find patterns and “chunk” information.
  • Plan and manage time (prioritize).
  • Seek help when necessary.

High-performing students also use efficient memory strategies, Darnell said, such as “distributed practice.” For example, when memorizing words for a spelling test, a good student won’t attempt to learn all 20 words in one night. Instead, she will memorize six words the first night, another six words the next night, another six words the following night, and then memorize the last two words (and review the most difficult ones) the night before the test.

 

When teachers teach all students to use these kinds of strategies, Darnell said, they see improvement in student performance within just a week or two. These strategies can be taught as early as 2nd grade, he added.

Darnell emphasized that learning-to-learn skills should be taught concurrently with content, not as an add-on.

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“Research shows that people don’t pick up on these skills unless they’re taught in the context of content,” he said. For example, teachers can teach the skill of comparing as students learn about photosynthesis, he suggested, or they can help students master note taking as they learn about transition statements.

Learning Strategies

Learning strategies or study skills determine the approach for achieving the learning objectives. The strategies are usually tied to your needs and interests to enhance learning and are based on many types of learning styles.

Here are some strategies that can help you be successful in your studies.

 

Set small, achievable goals

Start with small steps to reach higher targets.

  1. For example, try to learn 5 new English vocabulary items every day.
  2. Set a 30 minutes study session every day.
  3. Learn thelyrics of an English song every now and then.
  4. Read a short Englishtext every day.

Setting small targets is much better than setting huge goals that you cannot achieve. Remember that “small drops of water make the mighty ocean”

Plan studies

Planning your studies gives meaning to your work. If you know all the steps necessary to achieve a goal and these steps are written down on a piece of paper, it will be easy for you, then, to see the whole picture.

Be Motivated

The secret to success is that you should be motivated to learn. Try to avoid boredom by having fun in what you do. Try to find a positive aspect to studying English.

  1. Read about what you are interested in (hobbies, fields of interest…)
  2. Watch your favourite films in English
  3. Listen to your favourite English songs and learn the
  4. Write your diary in English.
  5. Read about your favorite stars in…

Remember, we learn better and fast things we really want to learn.

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Manage time

In order to manage your time successfully, having an awareness of what your goals are will assist you in prioritizing your activities. Time management provides you with the opportunity to create a schedule that works for you, not for others. This personal touch gives you the flexibility to include the things that are most important to you.

Set a reward

Set a reward for yourself that you can look forward to. For example, when you reach a goal, give yourself a reward:

  1. Watch a movie.
  2. have a delicious snack.
  3. Meet your friends.
  4. Go to the cafe.

 

Learning To learn : Metacognition

Your path for most effective learning is through knowing

  • yourself
  • your capacity to learn
  • the process you have successfully used in the past
  • your interest in, and knowledge of, the subject you wish to learn.

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‘Learning to learn’ is the ability to pursue and persist in learning, to organise one’s own learning, including through

effective management of time and information, both individually and in groups. This competence includes awareness
of one’s learning process and needs, identifying available opportunities, and the ability to overcome obstacles in order
to learn successfully. This competence means gaining, processing and assimilating new knowledge and skills as well as
seeking and making use of guidance. Learning to learn engages learners to build on prior learning and life experiences
in order to use and apply knowledge and skills in a variety of contexts: at home, at work, in education and training.
Motivation and confidence are crucial to an individual’s competence.


Essential knowledge, skills and attitudes related to this competence:

Where learning is directed towards particular work or career goals, an individual should have knowledge of the
competences, knowledge, skills and qualifications required. In all cases, learning to learn requires an individual to
know and understand his/her preferred learning strategies, the strengths and weaknesses of her his/her skills and
qualifications, and to be able to search for the education and training opportunities and guidance and/or support
available.
Learning to learn skills require firstly the acquisition of the fundamental basic skills such as literacy, numeracy and ict.
skills that are necessary for further learning. Building on these skills, an individual should be able to access, gain,
process and assimilate new knowledge and skills. This requires effective management of one’s learning, career and
work patterns, and, in particular, the ability to persevere with learning, to concentrate for extended periods and to
reflect critically on the purposes and aims of learning. Individuals should be able to dedicate time to learning
autonomously and with self-discipline, but also to work collaboratively as part of the learning process, draw the
benefits from a heterogeneous group, and to share what they have learnt.

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Individuals should be able to organise their
own learning, evaluate their own work, and to seek advice, information and support when appropriate.
A positive attitude includes the motivation and confidence to pursue and succeed at learning throughout one’s life. A
problem-solving attitude supports both the learning process itself and an individual’s ability to handle obstacles and
change. The desire to apply prior learning and life experiences and the curiosity to look for opportunities to learn and
apply learning in a variety of life contexts are essential elements of a positive attitude.

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