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How We Learn

When I was a little girl, while my brothers and sister were bounding energetically about the yard, I used to love to sit quietly, endlessly, on the warm sidewalk in the sun and "paint". Armed only with a plastic cup of water and small, fallen stick from a tree, I would make paintings with the water that darkened my wide concrete canvas as I dabbed and stroked the notions of my imagination along it. The clearer the day, the faster my fresh "canvas" would be ready.

And so it was, at eight years old, watching a flower or a "smiley-face tree" fade away as the heat of the sun emptied the space for the next idea, I learned about evaporation. I didn't have a name for it at the time, but my understanding of the concept that heat changed water to vapor could never be more clear, even when my chemistry teacher and his massive books gave it a name and explained the process many years later.




Studies have shown that people learn more and more quickly, with better retention, when they learn in an environment which is non-stressful, unhurried and playful. ALL knowledge was originally empirical; found through discovery while doing. People wrote the viable information down and made it available in books to make it faster to gain access to, but true understanding still has to come from oneself. And that understanding is best gained when approached with an unimportant, non-serious attitude, full of curiosity. When an activity is fun, it is more interesting; where there is more interest, there is more attention; and where there is more attention, the more the brain becomes engaged and open for discovery and evaluation. And no terse comments, please, about how you learned that drinking three bottles of wine wasn't such a good idea … <snicker> … I am not referring here to stimulus-response "learning" (which is actually "training").

As well, do not always blindly trust the stuff you read in books or get from "authorities" –– workability is the only test for the truth of a datum. It can be very frustrating indeed to try to apply something you've been taught only to discover later that the person you learned it from got it from somewhere else, had never tested it, and it turned out to be totally wrong in the first place!

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Membership positions are limited to a fixed number of people. All memberships subject to approval before entry to the MAP Community.

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