The 2020 docu-film The Social Dilemma raises concerns about the amount and kind of information we consume on a regular basis, and the harm that it does us.
Not only has the information age impacted our attention span, but it has also hampered our learning abilities. We no longer have the patience to read about subjects in detail; instead, we rely on snippets, one-liners and blurbs for information.
As passive learners, who know of many topics but not much about any of them, how can we develop a growth mindset?
There are several different methods of learning that you can use to learn, unlearn and relearn information that nudges you in the right direction.
Experiential Learning Cycle
Let’s understand how people usually learn something new. American psychologist and educational theorist David Kolb developed the Experiential Learning Cycle. Also known as Kolb’s Cycle, it describes one of the methods of learning. It describes learning in four stages:
Concrete Experience: Encountering a new experience or reinterpreting an existing experience
Reflective Observation: Reviewing and reflecting on the new experience
Abstract Conceptualization: Deduce a new idea or concept based on the review done earlier
Active Experimentation: Planning and trying out what has been learned
Kolb’s cycle is a simple way to learn about the different methods of learning and apply your knowledge to ideate in the future. Let’s look at some other commonly used methods of learning.
Different Methods Of Learning
Learning is an ongoing process. Regardless of experience, age and areas of interest, you can learn anything if you put your mind to it. You could be a doctor or lawyer who’s interested in playing the guitar or painting.
The idea is to be constantly curious, and hungry for new knowledge. For instance, if you read a political or business-related article, you should immediately want to find out why it was written and what purpose it serves.
Here are some of the most effective learning methods that will help you ease into a growth mindset:
Engage With The Information
Don’t just learn to build knowledge. Learn to act, engage and contribute. Say, you’ve just read an article online and want to say something about it. It could be an idea, a question or a few appreciative words. Write it down in the comments section or in the form of an email to the author, if possible. You could also share your views with your friends and family. This way, you can engage with a topic even after you are done learning about it.
Reflect On What You’ve Learnt
Think about what you learned, its key takeaways and how you can use the knowledge in your daily life. Say you have learned something about new business strategies in the digital age. Reading about it isn’t enough. Reflect on possible ways to implement these strategies to improve your professional abilities. You could even come up with a winning idea for a new product or service at work.
Join Forums And Discussion Groups
Communicate what you’ve learned with others. Sharing of information can trigger interesting discussions and even turn into brainstorming sessions. You don’t need to converse only with people you know. When you interact with strangers, you’re bound to make an effort to contribute more to the conversation. You also get introduced to new points of view.
Practicing is one of the best learning methods because it’s the easiest to implement. If you learn something new, such as baking, practicing will help you perfect your skill. You can’t expect to bake once and declare yourself a master baker. Even celebrity chefs such as Ritu Dalmia and Vikas Khanna became proficient after years of practice. It doesn’t matter if you fail a few times; you can learn a new skill through long-term learning and continuous practice.
Revisit The Topic To Make It Concrete
Don’t assume you know everything about a topic because you’ve learned, practiced and discussed it. If you want to be good at something, you must expose yourself to it time and time again. For instance, say you have completed a course on coding. Try to read up on other material or learn about alternative theories on the subject. At the same time, you could enter coding competitions or create something new by applying what you have learned.
These methods of learning are only the tip of the iceberg. You can find many innovative learning methods to help you acquire new knowledge and find creative ways to apply what you already know.
Harappa Education’s Learning Expertly course will teach you how to develop a growth mindset. Learn about each step in Kolb’s Cycle to gain a deeper understanding of the topic. Aspire to become an agile and lifelong learner for self-improvement and personal development.
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