My mother would often come into my room while I was doing homework and turn the radio down. She’d say, “How can you learn anything with all that noise?!” My response was always that I learn better with music, that it helps me recall what I’ve read, I play the tune in my head and the information comes back to me. She always left the room muttering, “I wish I could set your math homework to music; you’d be a rocket scientist!”
As it turns out, mom wasn’t wrong. No, I’m obviously not a rocket scientist, but it is known that some people are visual learners (they need to see it), some people are audio learners (they need to hear it) and some people need to learn by writing it down for themselves. All of these methods may have worked well way back when I was in school, but with today’s bombardment of material, new ways of helping people retain and recall information are necessary.
A recent column on Forbes.com put it best: We need to provide the learner with a GPS instead of an atlas to navigate the learning process with constant feedback. The article goes on to confirm that if the student reaches their goal of remembering and recalling information it will give them the confidence to continue learning. In essence, the student will learn to love learning!
With the current debate raging about when, how, or if to open our public schools, maybe it’s time we looked longer and harder at how a student learns rather than where they learn it.
Now, if only someone could explain to me how to “look it up” (as my mother always told me when I asked her how to spell a word) when you don’t know how to spell it!