I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~Eartha Kitt
I love to teach. Ever since I was young, I’ve had a desire within me to share what I’ve learned with those around me. This desire comes from an incessant hunger for learning.
Whether you are a school teacher, an entrepreneur or a minister of the Gospel, continual learning is non-negotiable. If you are not learning, you are being left behind.
Our generation provides us with more access to information than previously available. We have no excuse not to learn new things on a regularly basis. However, we do not all learn in the same ways.
Understanding how you learn best is critical for living a lifestyle of learning. If you are a hands on type of person, going to college may very well be counter productive. However, you may well likely excel at a trade school. When you find your style, you will be much more successful at whatever you aspire to.
4 Ways of Learning
Cognitive – I’m a book worm. I can read just about anything at length if I’m interested. I’ve been known to read entire product manuals, just to be sure that I don’t miss a single feature. I learn best cogntively.
Cognitive learners thrive with books and lectures. They typically do extremely well in a classroom environment.
Social – My church meets in small groups on Sunday mornings. We basically have a mini church service with 25 people in a house. The teaching time is open to discussion. Everyone is free to participate. They can ask questions or share their thoughts on a particular passage that we are studying. It is very interactive.
Social learners absorb information through discussion. Small group or one on one discussions are best for a social learner because they are able to share their thoughts and combine them with the thoughts of others.
Doing – I do a lot of training in my job. We use complex software programs for our daily tasks. Many times as I’m presenting the information for the first time to a new employee, their eyes glaze over. I’ve lost them. Then I get them in front of their own computer and everything changes. Once they have their hands on it, it makes sense.
When you learn primarily by doing, most other types of learning don’t make sense. Doers tend to zone out everything else. They need to touch it. Talking about it or watching someone else do it feels like a waste of time. Once they do it, they get it.
Observing – My fiancé has this uncanny ability. She only needs to be shown something once and she’ll remember it. At work, she will observe how things are done and the next thing you know, she’s doing it like she’s done it all her life. She only has to observe how to drive to a location once and she can get there on her own the next time.
Those that learn by observing are very detail oriented. They pay very close attention to what, how and why something is being done. Then they can quickly replicate it on their own.
Teachers And Learners
If you plan on being a teacher in any capactity, it is imperative to understand that not everyone learns in the same way that you do. A teacher must be aware of his students and adapt to their style when necessary.
Both teachers and learners must also be aware that some things can only be learned within the context of a specific style. You can learn traffic laws in a classroom but you will only learn to drive a car by doing it.
Learning shouldn’t stop when you finish high school or college. Anyone that desires to follow their dreams and to live out the destiny that God has called them to MUST be on a journey of continual learning. If you are going to grow in wisdom and maturity and fulfill your calling, you will need to understand the ways of learning and adapt to them all.
What is your preferred way of learning?