Based on your learning experience for many years, what do you think learning is? I’ve always thought about this, thus coming up with 19 points telling what learning is.
19 points could be very long for some of you. So, I’ve decided to break them apart. In this article, you get the first 10 points and the rest in the next article.
1. Learning is good.
Learning happens almost every moment in our life generally except for when we close our eyes and shut our system down to sleep. (Some people even claim that we also learn when we sleep). Without learning, life is meaningless. Even though it involves difficulties and pressure, learning is good because it makes us younger and more relevant to the society. Tell me a person who doesn’t learn, and I will prove to you that he’s the most outdated person in the world, thus being bored like hell.
2. Learning is not easy.
If any person has ever told you that learning is easy, please do me a favor by kindly kicking that person in the a**. Getting knowledge into our head is like riding a one-wheeled bicycle. It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy either. If you’re learning to swim, you probably have to swallow liters of water or get choked countless times before you are able to swim.
3. Learning is a close friend to making mistakes.
If you were able to bring me a person who doesn’t make any mistake while learning or in pursuit of learning to do something, I would allow you to do whatever you want to me. (You could kick me in the as* if you preferred).
While learning to do something, a lot of people (particularly students) try to avoid making mistake(s) instead of getting the job done. Unfortunately these people waste a lot of their time because making mistake(s) is inevitable though it could be minimized. Learning and making mistakes are very close friends which can’t be separated. In other words, you’ve got to make mistakes (few or many) when you learn to do something. When you make mistakes (few or many), you’ll learn something, and that something usually leads you to find the answers for which you have been trying to look. Therefore, never be scared of making mistake(s) while you’re learning to do something; it’s just a natural phenomenon.
4. Learning doesn’t necessarily have to start big.
My teachers were very right to say that learning doesn’t necessarily have to start big. I guess not many students actually possess such belief. If you just observe for a while, you’ll notice that many students rarely voluntarily start learning anything small because they believe learning has to start from something big if not enormous.
According to my experience in academics and life, learning should start small because once you get it kicked started it will roll like a snowball. Have you ever seen a rolling snowball in cartoon shows or something? On the top of the mountain, the ball starts as small as a drop of water, but once it gets to the bottom of the mountain, it becomes as big as a gym balloon.
5. Learning is not a one-time moment.
Most students think that learning is a one-time moment, but learning by its nature is definitely not a one-time moment. Instead, it is a continual process and takes persistence and consistence. In order to be able to do something, you may need to do that same or similar thing as often as possible.
To simplify this point, you should bear in mind that regularity is the key in learning. If you do anything regularly enough, you will one day become a master in doing the thing.
6. Learning never ends.
Learning not only is continual, but also never ends. I guess more and more people now understand learning never ends. Don’t get confused between learning and schooling. Schooling may end, but learning never does. Learning has a bigger scope than schooling. Knowledge doesn’t necessarily have to come from your teachers at school; you may get it from your friends, parents and many other people. For instance, I don’t go to business school to study business yet I can learn it from books that I read and people with whom I talk.
7. Learning has to be balanced
I got this advice when I told my teachers that I would devote myself to learning and become an outstanding student. My teachers were so right to tell me that academics or learning is not everything in a human’s life. Of course, a student has to learn and work hard, but s/he has many other things to do in life besides learning as well such as taking care of their health, looking after their family, travelling, and etc. So, to be better with this, a person needs to learn to balance their time and prioritize their work.
8. Learning demands reading.
In high school, I was told about the importance of reading, but I paid little if any attention to the advice. You bet I read so little when I was in high school and hated reading a lot.
However, when I was at IFL, many teachers inspired (read: forced) to read. Then, the more I read, the more I realized the importance of reading and regretted that I should have listened to my high school teachers.
Reading is essential in learning especially in university wherein spoon-feeding method of teaching and learning is not much used and effective. A student has to collect information (usually from reading) and makes sense of the information with minimum assistance or help from the instructors.
So, if you are about to get in university, I strongly recommend you to start strengthen your reading skills from now on or you’ll fall behind other students who like reading and who read well.
9. Learning isn’t classroom-bound.
As I said earlier, learning and schooling are different. Learning happens everywhere and schooling happens only in school or well-established institutions. A lot of students out there are confused with this, thus making mistakes that learning happens only in their classroom(s). So, they learn or try to learn only when they are in classrooms.
If you really learn or want to learn, you don’t need classroom because you can learn at anywhere like your home. Also, if you restrict your learning to be only in classroom, you will not improve in learning much or quickly. Students who are outstanding in their studies academically work so hard both inside and outside the class.
10. Learning needs participation.
Classroom participation is about being academically or educationally active in a class like asking questions, giving proper if not correct answers, etc.
When I was in high school, I rarely participated in classroom because I did not care about that or even learning at all. All I can remember about the time is I just came to class to enjoy myself.
However, when I became a university student (at IFL), my teachers emphasized the importance of classroom participation in relation to score. The good news is they did not lie or cheat because the more I participated in class, the higher score I get literally from classroom participation score.