"You don't understand anything until
you learn it more than one way."
-- Marvin Minsky
[Classic post from 7-31-11]
Learning leads to understanding and I have found understanding is achieved much better and faster by learning things in multiple ways. When I really want to understand something, I immerse myself in it and find ways to teach it to aid in my own understanding. As I understand it, I can teach it well.
I'll never forget going to a new high school in Upland, CA for just a few months. We had moved to Northern California from Southern California and after a few years, my parents decided the grass was greener in the Southland, so we moved back. It didn't last long, but I learned a lot from the experience.
The school in Sonoma, CA the history class was stodgy and rather boring, but typical of many schools I had attended with outlines on the blackboard, huge textbook, memorizing dates, etc. When I went to the school in Upland (south of LA near Ontario), that history class was the most exciting and interesting history class I had ever attended.
It wasn't the teacher, but the curriculum. In this case, they had an 8.5"x11" paper workbook with about a page to two pages of text on a subject, then there were many questions after each section. The questions asked about the subject from many different angles and really helped to understand it, make sense of it and engage with it. It was very interesting, well written and the questions made all the difference.
How terrible it was to go back to Sonoma and that old history class. It felt like the dark ages versus the 20th century. What's also interesting is that the kids in the Upland class were complaining about the class and I was rejoicing! Little did they know how good they had it.
There are many things that I've learned that I can repeat and even take a test on, but there are few that I have a deep understanding of. Whatever those are, came from the desire to know it, the learning from different angles and the teaching of it.
Learning Should Be Fun!
Spread Some Joy Today--When you get up and become awake, take a few moments and set some intentions for the day. Intend to have safe and efficient travel, excellent communications with all people, to enjoy the world around you while you work, and more. You won't believe what a difference it will make in your days.