the guiding principles of accelerated learning
1. Learning Involves the Whole Mind and Body. Learning is not all merely “head” learning (conscious, rational, “left-brained,” and verbal) but involves the whole body/mind with all its emotions, senses, and receptors.
2. Learning is Creation, Not Consumption. Knowledge is not something a learner absorbs, but something a learner creates. Learning happens when a learner integrates new knowledge and skill into his or her existing structure of self. Learning is literally a matter of creating new meanings, new neural networks, and new patterns of electro/chemical interactions within one’s total brain/body system.
3. Collaboration Aids Learning. All good learning has a social base. We often learn more by interacting with peers than we learn by any other means. Competition between learners slows learning. Cooperation among learners speeds it. A genuine learning community is always better for learning than a collection of isolated individuals.
4. Learning Takes Place on Many Levels Simultaneously. Learning is not a matter of absorbing one little thing at a time in linear fashion, but absorbing many things at once. Good learning engages people on many levels simultaneously (conscious and paraconscious, mental and physical) and uses all the receptors and senses and paths it can into a person’s total brain/body system. The brain, after all, is not a sequential, but a parallel processor and thrives when it is challenged to do many things at once.
5. Learning Comes From Doing the Work Itself (With Feedback). People learn best in context. Things learned in isolation are hard to remember and quick to evaporate. We learn how to swim by swimming, how to manage by managing, how to sing by singing, how to sell by selling, and how to care for customers by caring for customers. The real and the concrete are far better teachers than the hypothetical and the abstract – provided there is time for total immersion, feedback, reflection, and reimmersion.
6. Positive Emotions Greatly Improve Learning. Feelings determine both the quality and quantity of one’s learning. Negative feelings inhibit learning. Positive feelings accelerate it. Learning that is stressful, painful, and dreary can’t hold a candle to learning that is joyful, relaxed, and engaging.
7. The Image Brain Absorbs Information Instantly and Automatically. The human nervous system is more of an image processor than a word processor. Concrete images are much easier to grasp and retain than are verbal abstractions. Translating verbal abstractions into concrete images of all kinds will make those verbal abstractions faster to learn and easier to remember.