Learn By Teaching Others How to Learn

He sat on the crrb knowing that he needed to get his act together.

An overview of learning can be understood by four major concepts:

  1. Topic A: How habits form and how to form them
  2. Topic B: Focused and diffused modes of thinking
  3. Topic C: The power of recall
  4. Topic D: The power of spatial memory

How habits form and how to form them

I understand that crrb is an incorrect spelling of “curb,” but it is a learning tool I use to remember how habits are formed. You see here is how the acronym breaks down and how habits work.

Cue: first there is a cue that generates some type of response in you.

Routine: then you enter a routine to so that you can get a reward. Often the cue makes us think of something we should do, but we react by saying that won’t feel good and choose to do something that does make us feel good.

Reward: that which makes us feel good is the reward. We need to use rewards to get motivate us.

Belief: our belief about what is rewarding is key to turn our habits into productive ones. We should focus on the process of doing the work rather than the outcome.

Pomodoro is a helpful technique for practicing good habits.

Focused and diffused modes of thinking

These two modes of thinking are a great way to conceptualize the way your brain learns. Focused mode has a limited amount of neural connections it can make, but it is the reason why we can make very fast connections. It processes patterns that we know well very fast. Think of it like RAM on a computer.

Diffused mode is where we make new connections and how we want to process things we are trying to learn today. The counter-intuitive part of understanding learning is that to access your diffused mode you have to have fun, sleep, or do a rudimentary task after first learning something. New connections will spark and you will get small epiphanies about how things work.

The power of recall

In a meta-analysis of hundreds of experiments on learning techniques John Dunlosky and others discovered that practice testing out-performed other forms of preparation for exams and retaining information. Below you can see a graph from a study that illustrates the impact.

The power of spatial memory

Have you ever lost your way home from work or school? I highly doubt it. It’s because your spatial memory is very well practiced and developed over your lifetime and its structure over thousands of years. We can use this strength by imposing visceral images and analogies in a space we are familiar with using our imagination. Imagine navigating from your driveway all the way to the last room in your house. If you can put an image on the key rack, on the dining table and so on you can remember pretty much anything by periodically going back and reviewing the items over a few days or a week.


Reference Links:

Click to access improving_student_learning_dunlosky_2013.pdf

Image Links: http://cdn.instructables.com/FOQ/GVKX/I1NUMMID/FOQGVKXI1NUMMID.LARGE.jpg