Check Your Learning Curve


The Learning Curve

As an adult, if you look back and try to understand how the learning processes evolved for you as a school student first, then as a university student and later as an adult, a few aspects stand out very clearly.

  • Being taught.
  • Learning by doing.
  • Experiential Education.
  • Learning from experience.

As a child, the teacher and her teaching was everything for you. All the learning revolved around ‘the concept of teaching & you being taught’. Later as your learning abilities improved, the teacher introduced you to a better way of learning, we call it ‘Learning by doing’, this made things interesting and your curiosity to learn went up two notches. Your first serious attempt at “Experiential Education” came about in the high school, when you were asked by your teacher, to read from the book and come prepared for doing the experiments in the science laboratory or work on a project. You had to find answers to these experiments & the experiences and learn from them. The teacher would guide and correct you if your answers were not up to mark. It was fun and interesting and you could see the happy faces around. This is when you fully transitioned from being taught, to being allowed to explore and learn from your own experience. This made you happy and feel good about your ability to perform and learn from it.

The ‘teacher & being taught’ phase continued during university education also. You were introduced to a plethora of subjects and concepts, but now the onus was on you to explore and learn from the information you could gather. The learning boundaries had widened. Though there was plenty of scope for self learning, learning by doing, learning by exploring, there was very little emphasis on this. The scope of learning through group interaction, thinking & reflecting was minimal. There were very less organized efforts anywhere to explore the concepts and the elements of ‘Experiential Learning & Education’ for the students.

Even today, one of the reasons for low attendance in classrooms in the colleges is the limited capacity of the teachers to engage the students, create the kind of curiosity that is required and involve them in the learning process. Students need not be only taught, they need to be helped in learning through their own efforts through the process of “Experiential Learning & Education”. There needs to be a system that supports these concepts and the teaching staff is trained to put in efforts on these lines.

The “Experiential Learning & Education” field has evolved significantly over the last couple of decades and needs to be looked into favorably by the educationists. At least 20% of the syllabus should be covered through “Experiential Education” and there should be enough stress on “Life skills” development through “Experiential Learning” right from the early days of school education.

As a working adult once you are done with your formal education you have much to rely on learning from your own and other peoples’ experiences. The skills and competencies required to learn from experience as an individual and through group interactions will come in handy for you. What are these skills and how you can learn to appreciate these skills is a matter of choice for you as an adult. It is your own experience that will convince you to go for these skills for a better performance and better personal productivity at the workplace. Keep on exploring the ‘Experiential Learning’ possibilities. Learning from experience is an unending process. Scientific studies have proved that wisdom comes only at a later age. So keep learning.

“To know Tomato is a fruit is knowledge, not to use it in a fruit salad is wisdom”.
- Tweet by unknown.

The transition from being ‘taught’ in the school to ‘self- learning’ when you become an adult is quite an amazing experience. This journey of ‘learning’ which begins with the ‘ABC of life’ and culminates in the later age where you learn to ‘own’ everything you have learned from experiences becomes even more amazing.

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