Tag Archives: learning

Learnin’

Want to figure out your learning style? Try this questionnaire! Some of the questions were hard for me to answer, but most of them were pretty obvious in my case. Here’s the breakdown of my results.

07-19-2016

I’m surprised; I figured I’d definitely be highest on the aural scale, but that’s clearly my lowest. Strange.

Complex analysis: it’s all fun and games until someone loses an i.

AHEM. If anyone ever tells you you’re “too old” to contribute to your field of choice

Granted, it’s a subjective collection of greatest works/greatest minds, but notice the wide spread of ages in all categories.

This is important to me mainly because I’ve always heard (from various people/sources) that math, in particular, is “for the young” and that once you’re past a certain age (30 is commonly mentioned), learning math—let alone understanding it on an intuitive level—just doesn’t happen. And good luck trying to contribute something to the field if you’re 30+, right?

That idea’s just always bothered me. What does age have anything to do with your math ability (apart from, of course, possibly having more learning time in general if you start at an earlier age versus an older age)? I guess it may be true that the older you get, the harder it is to learn in general, but there’s no reason why that should translate to “you’re 30, so now suddenly the math part of your brain will never understand anything new and you will be of no use to the field, so get out and go study Brit lit or something!”

Hell, based on personal experience, I feel like I’m getting more from my “older” degrees (like math, which I got at age 26) than I did with my “younger” degrees (like psych and philosophy, ages 20 and 21 respectively). That of course may just be due to the fact that since I’ve been in school for SO LONG that my brain’s just kind of morphed into some super-efficient book-learning machine, but I think it’s more likely that seeing the processes and connections and “inner workings” of a lot of subjects and topics is just easier for me now that I’m a little older. I’m not sure if that’s the case for other people who seem unable to leave academia like myself (I keep trying, but it KEEPS DRAWING ME BACK IN), but it’s certainly true for me.

ANYWAY.

Alright, it’s rant time

So I’m on Tumblr a lot. I like Tumblr because I can find fellow AH fanatics and not feel so weird about quoting Gavin Free to myself all the time I like to watch trends. I like to watch how certain things work their way around Tumblr and how quickly/slowly they do so.

There’s been one or two posts that have been going around lately that I would like to comment on, if y’all don’t mind.

(If you do mind, just skip this blog, ‘cause I’m gonna rant here anyway.)
(AGH TUMBLR IS DOWN WHY DO YOU FAIL ME WHEN I NEED YOU?!)

So I actually can’t pull up the posts at the moment like I wanted to (see above sentence), but the gist of them is this: people who do well under the implementation of our current educational methods (sit down and be lectured to, then take tests) aren’t actually learning and don’t actually know anything about the material they’re being taught. They’re just good at working the system. This whole thing links in with the opinion that GPA is just a measure of how well someone can work said system.

‘Kay, let’s pause for a moment.

I think most people who make this argument against the current most common delivery of information in our schools don’t think that people who just don’t do well in school are stupid and are incapable of learning. They just can’t work the system. They’re perfectly intelligent individuals who are fully capable of learning and retaining new info; they just don’t learn well when they’re forced to sit and listen to a teacher prattle on about something. Maybe they’d do better in a situation where they were able to watch active demonstrations of whatever material’s being taught (like a chemistry teacher throwing potassium in water rather than just talking about how/why doing so causes an explosion) or doing activities involving the material being taught (like actually throwing the K into the H2O themselves).

In fact, this is the whole idea behind different learning styles, is it not? Some people learn better one way, some people learn better another. It’s a perfectly reasonable assumption to make—not everyone gathers information in the same way.

So think about this for a second. If people all have different learning styles and we accept that a good number of people don’t learn best when sitting in a classroom and taking notes as a prof lectures, shouldn’t we also accept that there are likely people who do learn best in that environment? I mean, I know that schools across the globe don’t all follow this “students sit and listen to teacher talk” template, but you’ve got to think that such template wasn’t dreamt up by a bunch of people who sat around snickering “haha, let’s force students to follow this method even though it doesn’t work for anyone!” It was probably, at least in part, originally conceptualized by people who either learned best this way themselves or thought others did.

And it does work best for some people. I know that for a fact because I am one of those people. I learn best when I’m “forced” to listen to someone talk about the material. I have a very good aural memory. And like quite a lot of people, I remember stuff better when I’m exposed to it multiple times. That’s why I write stuff down during lecture. I hear the material, I write down the material, and the written stuff is there later if I need to refer to it. That works for me. I learn things that way. I’m the type of person for whom “they system” just works because it just so happens to match my learning style.

I know a lot of people for whom lectures aren’t very beneficial but labs really help them learn. I don’t usually retain stuff that’s taught in lab-like settings because when I get “hands on” with material, I like to do it alone and on my own time. Labs are stressful and they don’t help me learn. If our current educational system was all hands-on lab-based, I’d have to work extra super hard to retain anything ‘cause that’s just not the way my brain works.

So I guess what this meandering rant boils down to is this: for a lot of people, the current system may not be their ideal way to learn, and therefore some have probably developed ways to “work the system” and look like they’re doing well even if they’re not retaining anything past what’s necessary to earn them an A in a semester-long class. But for some people, maybe they’re not working the system at all—for them, the system just…works.

So please think of that next time you have the urge to assume that people who do well in school nowadays are just good at faking their way through.

[rant over; commencing Achievement Hunter video binge]

I Heart Descartes

I’m not usually the type of person who goes around saying, “I heart [insert name here],” but I found it necessary in this case, seeing as how it rhymes. Anyway…

Huttah!
I totally own the Enlightenment (well, I owned our test on the Enlightenment)!
I love the Enlightenment, but I’m not so enthused about Romanticism. It’s boring and nature-y. Blah.

And here’s something else…I just realized that I have a really violent name. I have the “claw” in Claudia and the “maul” in Mahler. It would be a rockin’ name if I become a serial killer someday. Bwahahaha…

Mmm…Descartes…

Though I probably won’t post my blogs until…oh…let’s say next Wednesday, I just wanted to explain why I haven’t been keeping up. In my lit class we’ve been deeply involved in…oh, what’s it called…oh yeah! THE ENGLIGHTENMENT!

I must say, I like it. I like it a lot. But today we had our test and now we’re moving on to Romanticism (ugh.).

 

So let the good times roll! Blogs will be appearing soon!