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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Making It Mine

"You learn something new every day".

How many times have you heard yourself or others say that? How accurate is it? I'm inclined to think I'm re-learning as many things most days as I am learning brand new things. That's good - every time I re-learn something there's a better chance that learning will become mine.

Most of my post-graduate work was devoted to how adults learn. Over and over, especially in guitar teaching to adults, I have seen clear evidence to support a maxim I heard continually during my studies: Adults learn through spaced repetition. An illustration: How do you get a new word to take hold in your vocabulary? For me, it's the spaced repetition that does it. I rarely get comfortable with a new word before seeing it in print several times. For visual learners, that exposure and a handy dictionary may be enough to get started using a word. My preferred learning method is auditory so I also like to hear a couple people say it aloud - more repetition. Sometimes, I give new words a "test drive" by writing them privately, in my journal etc. This last approach is frequently used by those who prefer a kinesthetic method of learning. Regardless of preference, repetition is key. And repetition is a form of re-learning.

So, what did you re-learn today? Yesterday? What did you notice about the way you went about re-learning?  Did you read something, listen to someone, use your hands? Some combination of two or all three of those? How close is the learning to being yours now?

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