Sunday, September 26, 2010

Changing the way we study

As I stated in my previous post, explaining a concept is much less useful than presenting it. I would like to shed some light on this issue. For the concept of explaining, I would like to divide our ability to learn into several categories. I would prefer not to use obscure words, as dividing into levels it much easier to understand.

Tier 0 - Our primal senses
Tier 1 - Physical reflexes - What we have learned through our senses
Tier 2 - Our language ability
Tier 3 - What we have learned with our language.

We learn much, much faster through our senses. It is linked closely with our brain at a primal level. Rather than explain, I would like to provide a couple examples.

A mother tells her child not to touch a pan because it is hot. While the child understands this, there will come a time when the child touches the pan. It greatly hurts the child, and the child quickly understands the consequences.

When you are a child, you hear stories about how to be a good person. You hear, and you understand them. And yet you probably hurt others. You did not understand the consequences of what you were doing, until you yourself were hurt, and could understand the pain. You became intimately aware and could fully understand your effect on others.

And yet, what do we learn from all the outside sources around us? From everything we have read and heard over our lifetimes, how much of that has had a profound effect on our lives? What advice from your friends has truly become a part of ourselves?

The truth of the matter is, it is what we experience which changes us most. It is not what we hear from others which shapes our lives, but rather what we experience emotionally, and physically, which lets us understand. This is how we became who we are.

One thing you may have noticed is that our language ability is at level 2. This level of understanding is completely built up from our senses. This may seem trivial, but it is in fact the most important part of this issue.

Looking back at my tiers of understanding, we can see how everything is setup. You may also notice that what we understand with our language is set at level 3. This level is very unstable.

What we traditionally learn in school is normally learned through our language ability. However, if you look at the tiers of understanding, it is located far away from our most basic method of learning.

Traditional learning is not based on what we have experienced, and is simply too far away from our primal understanding of the world to often be effective. And yet most of our educational system is based around this level. Don't you think we can change that?

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