Learning Has No Limits

The Project 365 prompt today is:

“What’s your learning style? Do you prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting? Or one-on-one? Do you retain information best through lectures, or visuals, or simply by reading books?”

Since my little brain has been rented out to viruses who are having an annual conference, I had to take help from the sensible vacant lot. 😉

So here’s what some of my friends had to say when asked the same question.

Preethi Venugopal of Tulips and Me says, “I learn through all three- Lectures, visuals and books. I like to search for information that intrigue me and go in search of knowledge in that area.”

Indeed true. Learning does not have any boundaries. It is not confined by any medium. One who has the will to learn can learn from his surroundings, from his experiences, from his mistakes.

“I prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting. As a group there are more ideas and opinions which kind of open new possibilities. I remember things the best through visuals. It leaves an imprint on my mind. If the book I read can help me visualize things vividly, I do remember them also.”, said Gayatri Aptekar of Outside the Kitchen Window

Visuals are what remain etched in my memory. You won’t believe when I tell you that I do remember the page numbers of the various Physics topics that I learnt from ABCs of Physics during my tenth CBSE board exams. Actually I also have a camera ready print of the black board on which my favourite geography teacher had made a diagram depicting the tectonic movements of earth’s plate resulting in an earthquake or a volcano. I also remember a love note left by someone special in my engineering entrance preparation guide on page number P-1024. Not sure if he remembers it or not.

Jaibala Rao of My School of Thought said, “For me it depends on what I am learning. Academics was always alone, in a room with music (mostly). But anything creative for me always is best learnt and experienced in a group – lectures, Visuals and Reading; there is something to gain from all three then.”

Reminds me how my mom used to shout at us for having the music system turned on during our studies. Somethings Moms never understand. I know I am in for some of these pretty soon. But yes, soft music on my Sony walkman was a MUST during my tenth and twelfth boards. Without it I often dozed off the moment I opened the book. So much that Mom had to buy some stupid medicine to keep me awake and alert. It’s a different matter that taking the medicine made me sleep all through the day and I became a night owl.

“Learning is an art of inculcating right values through improved techniques of physical materials, interactive session, individual efforts, informative videos and group teaching aids. So for me all this helps and poses a great support in my learning process. As a child I never preferred group study but as I grew up I thought this study too stimulates my brain cell and develops team work.”, said Saranya Iyer of Poems and Short Stories

Group studies and interactive sessions to me often resulted in gossip sessions. Anything more than two heads meant a disaster during exam days. But ideas and opinion, definitely. Lots of them. But yes, as I grew up in my career group sessions meant a lot of learning and sharing of ideas and initiatives.

Poonam Khanduja of Stir Your Souls said, “Being a teacher, more than my ‘learning’ style, it is my ‘teaching’ style. Group activities and projects are a regular in any classroom setting, but my students do have a say, at times, if they want a one – on – one session during any said lesson plan. During a group activity, it is an amalgamation of varied ideas, and opinions, while in a one – on – one, it is an interesting discussion between the teacher and the student, looking at it from a classroom perspective. Interaction is the best means of retaining knowledge in my opinion, and it has always had an edge over plain lectures or only reading material, by oneself, both for me and my students, as well.”

I still remember when we first attended a video lecture while in class seventh on the human body and its function. We were made to sit in the library and a video tape was put on the VCP/VCR. The images and the commentary are still as fresh in my memory. Also during those days it was considered to be a big achievement to have gotten a chance to attend the video lecture.

So though I was more confident in learning by myself or one-on-one interaction with the teachers while in school, in college I was more comfortable sharing the lessons with my close friends. And group activities at work lead to much more learning and success as a team.

The one thing I miss is the way children are taught in school these days. There is so much focus on the fundamentals and the entire concept of learning by heart has been made redundant. The fundamentals are taught with such passion and meaningfully that their grasping power increases manifold. They are able to judge and interpret things all by themselves. Their decision-making capabilities amaze me. If I compare myself as a ten-year old with a now ten-year old, I believe I was a dud in all senses. Group activities, interactions, practical sessions intermingled with the necessary class lectures make learning much more interesting than ever.

Given a chance I would love to grow up once again with access to all mediums of learning. But then learning is not limited to any school and has no age limit. It can take place at any time, at any place, under any circumstance. Engaging in discussion on WhatsApp, watching a debate on television, following links posted on FaceBook or Google Plus, reading blogs and acting upon them. All this is learning. Isn’t it? Genuine, powerful and impactful.

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7 Replies to “Learning Has No Limits”

  1. First of all, hats off Reks – despite everything you were going through, you thought on your feet and came up with a really interesting post. As for learning itself, I think I learn in a variety of ways – and sometimes never at all 🙂

    1. Thanks Sid! As you know I am not someone who can be tied down to the bed unless drugged. This idea came up while having tea this morning and I didn’t get a response to my query from the better half. I guess it had to be a contributed affair. Loved reading the various views. 🙂

  2. Good to know that things are improving in the Indian education system. Because when I was a student, it was only about who can store the maximum data in their brain and reproduce it accurately (without missing a word) on the exam paper. Back then, I learned from everything except my curriculum.

    Destination Infinity

    1. Rajesh, that’s what I have understood from whatever is happening at my children’s school. They score for applying logic and not for the exact wordings of the teacher. Be it a language or sciences. I always scored less because I wrote correct answers but in my own words. It’s a different story that this helped me score fare enough grades in boards.

  3. I actually enjoy learning via all modes. The interactive mode is the best where we can ask questions. I love a lot of images and screenshots to explain the concepts. Enjoyed reading what others had to say!

  4. Loved your approach Rekha.
    And though I like the present style of education I really am concerned about the short term memory of students. Like my son has three summatives. And once the summative is over, he need not do that portion again which means most of it is conveniently forgotten. Also today students are so much used to calculators and computers, simple calculations are tough for them and they can’t do it mentally.
    I teach British curriculum and while it has a more hands on approach, I find students more lazy. Is it because the curriculum is too easy, I cannot say.

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