Tuesday, August 03, 2010

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Slow learning - deep learning

In response to my good friend Dave Meyer's comment on the last post, I thought I'd elaborate on that topic.
Firstly, I want to be clear, I was talking in general terms and not about myself specifically. From my own point of view, I do agree with David, and I have always tried to 'teach' myself a technique that I have already been shown (or taught). I have my own learning style, as we all do I guess. I was, at one time in my dim past, diagnosedas a 'slow' learner' - and I am sure I know why some of my kindergarten teachers thought this ...
I never really 'took' to an idea until I thoroughly understood it and found a way to connect it to my world view. This process; obviously takes time - hence the 'slow-learner' ;abel. Once though, I had tipped the idea on it's head, and looked at it from every angle, and had found 'it's place' in the grand scheme of things, I felt that my understanding of that idea was deeper than most. And so at another time of my life (less-dim past) I was diagnosed as a genius. Can't these people make up their uncertain minds? And that didn't help either, because I was then stuck in a special 'bright-boy' class and fed high-math (yuck) and multiple languages (yum) and other stuff that would, no doubt, allow me to stretch myself as a student. That didn't work all that well because, well .. I wasn't all that interested in school - strange that! My point here is that we are all different, all unique, and each have our own learning styles and different types of things that interest and arouse our curiosity. In short, people cannot that easily be categorised in any meaningful way without cheapening who we are and what we are capable of.
My learning style is a slow to start (because I need to see and understand all the angle; all the point sof view, before I start processing the subject. I look at combative strategies and techniques this way; I like to really get in there and kick the tyres and lift the hood before I get to work on it ... slow learning can sometimes mean, deep learning.
I remembering having to know the alphabet forwards and backwards before I could get a handle on it - this frustrated my teachers but not me. I like to look at a techniques from every angle (that I can think of, understand the mechanics of it, the timings of each part of it and where it fits into the overall picture - for me, this IS the fun of learning. Not everyone takes this approach - nor should they - how boring would the world be if we all learned and found joy in the same way. Diversity provides a rich environment for development and newly evolving ideas ...
Best wishes
JBW

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2 Comments

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John, I'm a high school English teacher and your seminars and your blog help me to improve my BJJ and my teaching. You have such an insight into the learning process and the importance of making connections between what we already know and think and new information. Thank you! Keep up the great teaching.

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Thanks Sarah,
a high school English teacher ... yikes ... now I feel guilty about all the typos! (a consequence of my rapid-typing and non-editing policy)
I am so glad you find my teaching style to be beneficial - thanks for expressing your appreciation. Warmest wishes
JBW

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