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When learning is difficult, you're doing your best learning, in the same way that lifting a weight at the limit of your capacity makes you stronger.
When you keep trying to remember a piece of information, you interrupt the forgetting process and help cement the memory of that information into your brain.
You're experiencing fluency when you're reading something and it feels easy.
For example: you're at the airport and you're trying to remember which gate your flight is. You look at the terminal monitors — it's B44. You think to yourself that's easy to remember. Then you walk away, idly check your phone, and instantly forget where you're going.
When you're weaving in new threads into your pre-existing web of knowledge, you're elaborating.
The more you can explain the way your new learning relates to prior knowledge the more connections you create that will help you remember it later.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Retrieval is so effective is that it strengthens the neural pathways associated with a given concept.
When you're attempting to recall an idea, method, or technique from memory, you're retrieving. Flash cards are a great example: They force you to recall an idea from memory, unlike a technique like highlighting where you're not burning anything into your brain.
... to what you already know.
When you try to put a new idea into your own words, you're elaborating.
For example, if you're in physics class and trying to understand heat transfer, try to tie the concept into your real-life experiences, say, by imagining how a warm cup of coffee disperses heat into your hands.
The natural talents and skills of youngsters are quickly dashed at school, where they are told by parents and teachers that they aren't that smart, based on the prevailing metrics of measuremen...
Schools that are practicing 'tracking' where they group students based on their test scores and abilities are hampering their development. They mistakenly think that the brain is fixed and these students are 'learning disabled' for life.
Every time we learn something, the brain is forming, strengthening and connecting neural pathways, at any age. We never stop learning, but stigmas and wrong beliefs at an early age impact the learning process.
Just giving the right answer in a test isn't enough. The brain works and learns better when solving difficult problems, absorbing it for a lifetime. If teachers make it all right to fail and provide students with the space to make mistakes, it can be incredibly freeing.
Learning how to learn is a meta-skill. It is a critical skill for everyone who needs to pick up and master new concepts frequently.
Understanding what is learning and how our memory works wil...
Learning how to learn is critical for everyone. Most of us have to deal with a changing world and to learn how to manage tons of new information.
However, most of our learning methods are outdated and far from optimal. It may even be giving us an illusion of learning, like re-reading and highlighting that don't provide proper feedback to show what you haven't learned.
Focused and diffuse modes provide two models for how we develop, elaborate, deepen and broaden connections. Both methods are important.