Chapter 7 Adopting Lifelong Learning I learn something valuable from every experience I have. As a creator, I take personal responsibility for learning all of the information, skills, and life lessons necessary to achieve my goals and dreams The Fish Story p. 177 • Read aloud • What lessons would you have learned if you had been in this biology lab? • Who did the instructor make responsible for learning? • What is the difference between that Biology class and COL 105 or any other relegated discipline? How does the human brain learn? • If you want learning to stick, you need to create networks of neurons that fire together. • The neurons send out electrical impulses that create a learning pattern. The learning pattern must be repeated over and over for the information to be stored in long term memory. • Learning changes the structure of the brain. • Graduate students had 40% more neural connections than that of high school dropouts. • To excel as a learner, create as many neural connections in your brain as possible. 3 keys to deep lasting learning • 1. Prior learning (knowledge) • 2. Quality of Processing • 3. Quantity of Processing Prior Learning • Past successes help us to build confidence that we will be able to complete the task at hand both effectively and efficiently. Thus, motivation stays high. • When you are able to connect what you are learning to some previous learned info. Then you learn the skill faster and more deeply. • If you have a shaky background in a subject then you may have difficulty with learning new information which involves your prior knowledge. You do not have a strong neural pathway from which to retrieve information, utilize, and attach it. • Be sure to use different learning strategies so that you can create the neural networks needed for deep learning. Quality of Processing • Deep learning or elaborative rehearsal • Examples are graphic organizers, generating questions, summarizing information in your own words. • Varied deep processing strategies means that the more different ways you deep process new learning, the stronger your neural networks will become. • See pg. 181 for additional active learning strategies. Quantity of Processing • Distributed practice is when the brain works best when learning efforts are distributed over time. • Do successful athletes wait until the day or night before an event to begin practicing? • Then why do you think that an all night cram session will be effective? • Summer amnesia is when you forget some of what you learned in the Fall and Spring semesters because you did not develop adequate neural networks. So therefore, you learning was not deep learning. • Consider the length of time that you study Time on task is essential to building strong neural networks. • 2:1 ratio • Motivation drops when you do not see your “efforts” rewarded with good grades. What can you do to break that pattern? • What if you are studying and still struggling? Look at your study techniques and try new ones. Use more distributed practice and limit distractions. Be sure to employee deep learning strategies Learning Styles • The way you prefer to receive information and create meaning • Learning styles help you to maximize learning. • Thinkers, doers, feelers, and inventors Thinking Learners • • Energized by “what” questions. Gather information by pondering and reflecting on facts and theories. Learn well from visual aides such as PowerPoint, problem solving, textbook readings, ind. library research, activities that employ logical skills-debates. • Process information using logical argument supported by documented facts and data. Do not depend on emotion. Personal considerations, or limitations. They prefer to analyze, dissect, figure-out, and use logic to arrive at reasonable answers. They like to bring order to complex info. By creating outlines or charts. • What to do when an instructor doesn’t teach to your learning style: You can: 1. Construct what questions and look for the answers. 2. Construct other types of questions and search for answers- how?, why?, who?, what if?. 3. Read assignments carefully and create well-organized notes that identify key points. 4. Do not get upset if your instructor asks you to work in groups or to even includes student directed teaching. 5. Organize notes using either outlines or comparison charts 6. Study with others and ask how they adapt to the instructors teaching style You can ask your instructor: 1. To answer your important “what” questions 2. List important facts and points on the blackboard 3. Provide handouts of lecture notes or PowerPoint presentations 4. Allow students to answer questions in writing before they are answered allowed 5. Suggest additional readings or assignments by recognized authorities in the field 6. Provide examples of past tests 7. Step by step instructions 8. Provide data to support Doing Learners • • Energized by questions that begin with “how” They prefer to gather info. By taking action. They like instructors who present factual info. and practical skills in a step by step manner who then present models, examples, or allow students to do hands on work. They like to dive right in. • Doers process info. By testing an objective or theory. They do not like abstract theories, emotions, personal considerations, or intuition. They excel at being unbiased, taking action, observing outcomes, following procedures, and using confirmed facts to arise at answers. They prefer well organized and documented info. That brings order to complex info. In the form of charts, flow charts, or models. • If your instructor does not teach to your preferred learning style you can do the following: 1. Construct “how” questions and search for answers 2. Construct who?, what?, when?, where? questions 3. Practice using the info outside of class 4. Shadow someone who uses the skills being taught for a day or appropriate length of time 5. Resist being upset if the instructor uses theory based learning and application 6. Organize lecture and reading notes in a step by step fashion using outlines and study charts 7. Study with classmates who have a different learning style and ask how they study and learn new info. Ask your instructor to: 1. Answer “how” questions in class or in a conference 2. Explain the theories in a practical application 3. Provide a visual model 4. List important steps on the blackboard or in handouts 5. Demonstrate the info. In a step by step manner 6. Invite guest speakers who offer real world application in their daily work 7. Observe and offer correct feedback Feeling Learners • • Energized by questions that begin with “why” or “how” Prefer to gather info by personal connections and an emotionally supportive environment. Learn well from instructors who are warm, caring, value feelings, as well as thoughts. Instructors who create a safe, accepting classroom atmosphere and include group work, role playing, and sharing of experiences. They benefit from opportunities to relate personally with their instructors or classmates. • They process info by honoring their emotions and seeking answers that are personally meaningful. They are uncomfortable with answers that are abstract or dispassionate facts and data. They excel relating to their emotions in a group, making decisions, using empathy and gut feelings to arrive at personally relevant answers. When your instructor doesn’t teach to your preferred style you can: 1. Construct “why” and “how” questions and seek the answers 2. Construct what? How? What if? Questions 3. Discover the personal value of the subject matter 4. Use concept maps to construct notes and study material 5. Resist feeling upset if your instructor seems distant or aloof 6. Use new info with other people in your life 7. Organize a study buddy or team 8. Record class sessions and listen to them during free time ( with permission) 9. Teach your info to someone else Ask your instructor to do the following: 1. Answer important “why” and “how” questions in class or conference 2. Explain how you can make the material personal 3. Meet outside of class to create a personal relationship to ease any tensions and make class a relaxed atmosphere 4. Offer small group activities in the classroom 5. Tell stories about how they personally used the info presented 6. Do some course assignments with a partner or in a group 7. Discuss info in pairs and present it to the class Innovating Learners • • What if? Or what else? Questions energize them They prefer to gather info by seeking new possibilities and imagining unseen futures. Like for their instructors to allow them to discover and invent new applications. They like instructors who offer innovative and independent projects, flexible rules and deadlines, a menu of optional assignments, metaphors, art projects, and visual aids. They need to be allowed to use their imaginations freely and work independently. • They prefer to process info by honoring personal imagination and intuition. They are uncomfortable with answers based on abstract theories, cold facts, hard data, emotion, or personal considerations. They trust their inner vision. If your instructor doesn’t teach to your preferred learning style you can: 1. Construct what if and what else? Questions and seek the answers 2. Construct and answer What? How? Who? Why? Questions 3. Do not get upset if people do not immediately see things from your perspective 4. Organize notes and study materials using concept maps and personally meaningful symbols or pictures. 5. Think about the content creatively and metaphorically ( what is like this) 6. Study with individuals that have a different learning style than yours Ask your instructor to do the following: 1. Answer your What if or what else? Questions in class 2. Allow you to design some of your own assignments 3. Use visual aids to explain concepts in class 4. Recommend a book for you to read by the most innovative and rebellious thinker in the field 5. Evaluate your learning from essays or projects rather than tests How do you make course corrections? • 1. 2. 3. 4. Using your Scripts and learning style you can solve a problem by distinguishing between: What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What are you doing? What are your unconscious core beliefs? What are you thinking? • Do you think this is great, I love intellectual challenges, or I was never any good at puzzles, or this is impossible, I already know the answer, Who cares? What are you feeling? • Do you feel excited by the challenge, or overwhelmed by the difficulty, irritated by the request, bored, disinterested, or depressed? What are you doing? • Do you immediately begin drawing lines to seek a solution, sit back and reflect for a solution, turn the page and look for the answer, ask someone else, keep reading without attempting to understand? What are your unconscious core beliefs? • Most people have unconscious beliefs that prevent them from seeing the answer. Why or how to change? • If you currently have bad habits and beliefs that prevent you form solving the problem/puzzle, you need to try a new approach. • You will need to try the approach that employs doing, thinking, feeling, or believing. Change requires self-awareness and courage along with life long learning • In order to change you must realize you are off course. Pay attention to the signs and do not just ignore them. Creators change and take a leap of faith. Victims just stay the same course unwilling to walk into the unknown. • Change presents the opportunity for life long learning. University of Life or The School of Hard Knocks keep you constantly reevaluating whether or not you are on course. Tests come in the form of trials with no correct answers offered. The answers come in the forms of problems, obstacles, mistakes, failures, and catastrophes. • These answers are like an airline pilot and how they must constantly readjust in order to reach their destination. These readjustments are the lessons you need to develop and reach your full potential. Life Long Learning • • • • • • Once you graduate from college your life long learning comes in the form of on the job training. This instruction comes in the form of hard skills and some offer soft skills too. Remember, hard skills get you the job, and soft skills can contribute to you losing the job. If you learn from your mistakes you will probably rebound well and land on your feet; however, if you just continue the same patterns you will continue to end up in the same place you began originally. If you decide you need to make a change the following are resources that you may find beneficial. Computer tests such as DISCOVER, SIGI PLUS, CHOICES, CIS, Dictionary of Occupational Titles, The Guide for Occupational Exploration, Occupational Outlook Handbook. These resources offer information you may not be familiar with such as nature of the work, places of employment, training and qualifications required, earnings, working conditions, and employment outlook. Try to find a part time job in the area to be sure that it is what you want to do for the rest of your life. continued • During job interviews employers are looking for individuals that can learn new skills quickly and easily, as well as continue to learn new skills. • Be ready to answer questions like “How do you keep up with advancement in your field?”, “What type of workshops and seminars have/do you attend?”, and “What do you read.” • You should be prepared to ask questions too. Be sure to make it clear that you are looking for a company that values you wanting to keep up with and stay ahead of market trends. Also remember to ask them about their mission statement and how they have demonstrated or lived up to it in the past. Self Respect • The core belief that you are an admirable person, and how you go about completing a task. • Two core beliefs are: 1. Do I live with integrity? 2. Do I keep my commitments? Integrity • • • • • • • • • Integrity= personal value system The root integer means one or whole so integrity is created by choosing words and deeds that are one with our value system Examples of value system=love, respect, excellence, security, honesty, wisdom, and compassion. This student says he values his education. Do you agree? He turns in incomplete assignments, comes to class late or leaves early on a regular basis, talks on his cell phone during class if he is not sleeping, does less than his best work. These actions are a direct contradiction to the statement that he values his education, thus his integrity is compromised and self respect is torn down. To stay on track ask yourself these questions1. What qualities do I admire in others? 2. Do I ever allow myself to be less than what I admire? You cannot abandon what is sacred to you and retain your self respect. Keep Commitments • • 1. 2. 3. 4. • Do you tell someone that you are going to do something and then back out? Do you do this over and over? If so, you are making withdrawals from your self respect. To make a deposit in your self respect account you must keep your commitments, and especially those you have made to yourself by doing the following: Make your agreements consciously- be able to say no Use Creator Language Make your agreement important Renegotiate instead of breaking the agreement What do you make more important than keeping a commitment to yourself? Journal 13 Your Choice • Only you have the control not to let others steer you off path. • Only you have the choice to always do your best. • Either way, you have control. If you choose to let others interfere or not do your best always, you’re a making another withdrawal from your self respect.