Really learning (part 3): meaning and chunking

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog!

In this third – and final – blog on the topic of facilitating learning, let me build on the positive implications of harnessing emotion and of maximising attention and engage you on the themes of meaning generation and chunking. At this stage of the game, I have posited that we can support others’ learning by associating it with positive emotions (check out emotions help us learn) as well as by varying our delivery in order to keep our audience’s attention (read learning and attention).

I want to further propose that learning – the process of memorising new information and then of recalling it at will – is also helped by meaning. When discussing the impact of emotions on learning in my April blog, I mentioned anticipation as one of the positive emotions which can facilitate learning. And indeed, when we look forward to learning, we have a sense that this pending new information will add to our existing body of knowledge. It will complete it and we will feel the richer for it. We look forward to learning and to feeling good about it.

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Really learning (part 2): back to attention

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog!

For those of you who teach, did you think that leveraging emotions was a good idea? If so, how did you practically do so? For those among you keen learners, did you agree that emotions facilitate both the processing and later the recall of new knowledge, as I proposed in my April post?

In this month’s article, I am continuing to look at how we learn and some of the brain processes associated with that activity. I want to return to attention (I hear some of you moaning "oh noooo….). In a future post, I propose to engage you around the notions of meaning and chunking.

As such, in addition to the opinion that we best learn when the new knowledge is associated with a positive emotion, I also hold the view that we best learn when we are able to pay as-close-to undivided attention while being taught. But that is a tall order – judging only by the masse of self-help books which expound on techniques for captivating and retaining an audience’s attention. [Read more…]

Really learning: the role of emotions

Hello and welcome to this month’s neuro blog!

What did you think of my suggestion back in April to leverage language to influence how you feel? Did you tell yourself you ‘only’ felt your negative emotions – to hasten their passing? – and that you were your positive emotions – to encourage them to linger a bit?

This month, I am sticking to emotions and my focus is on how they can help us learn. I am curious by nature but I noticed I wasn’t always retaining new learning even when I had found it interesting. As a coach and facilitator, I am keen that my clients be able to not just have those great insights but to return to them and thus plan their behavioural change. [Read more…]