Most of my school and college life was spent in learning lots of facts. I also learned principles and concepts but not in any coherent manner. I was not sure why I was learning, what I was learning. Our teachers (if they knew), forgot to tell us the “Whys?”. Some of this learning was fun and enjoyable and reasonably effortless but some of it was not.
When I started working, I started learning by doing. This was way more fun since I had a context on why I had to learn certain things. I retained my knowledge better since Iusing it. When you learn by doing or learn so that you can use it, the style is very different. You learn on demand and if some of what you are learning does not make sense, you dig deeper and try to find out why something works the way it does. I will call this as exploratory learning and it certainly is a lot more effective.
I think people will learn better, if:
- They know why they are learning (learning by understanding the larger context)
- They are allowed to explore (learning by exploring and discovering)
- They are challenged by tasks that require learning (learning by doing)
- They have the freedom to learn in their own ways (Seven freedoms of Learning)
- We make learning as interesting as playing games