Normal Learning Process

Are you wondering about how normal learning occurs as you try to help your student or perhaps yourself acquire new concepts?

First, let’s think about what is normal. Normal is not a single state. In reality, every person is unique. Our brains all have the same basic structure but each person seems to be wired slightly differently. That is both wonderful and frustrating for someone trying grasp new ideas.

In the beginning of life: As a child develops the parents and family members surrounding the child are the first instructors. Whether this teaching is done with intention or happenstance, everything that occurs around the child provides stimulus and occasions for learning. Most of this learning is by imitation. That is the moral behind the maxim to parents, “watch what you say, little pictures have big ears.” It’s also why the admonition “do as I say, not as I do” creates tension in a household.

By now, since you are on a tutoring website, I think it safe to assume that you are well beyond the early development stages of infancy and toddlers. Your needs for your learner are confounding you both and you are looking for someone with the knowledge, skill, and patience to bring to fore on this learning hurdle.

Maturing and learning: Multiple modes of learning and intentional learning are now an ever-present reality. Classes in single subject areas; math, reading, English, spelling, vocabulary, foreign languages, geography, history, religion, literature, politics and government all expect a student to master specific concepts and facts. For each person there will be some subjects that are easily mastered, and others that seem to forever confound the individual.

At the most basic level we know that everyone learns through sight, sound, and action. These three primary modes of learning, visual, auditory-oral, and kinesthetic can be shuffled around to enhance the learning process for most people. However, each person has an optimum learning combination as their mode of acquisition. Some learn best first by seeing, then hearing, and finally by doing. Others learn best first by doing, then hearing explanation, and finally by reading about the concept. Successful tutors will ask the parent or guardian, or the student directly which modes are primary, secondary and tertiary to best accommodate the learning process.

While I was raising my own children I learned that each had unique strengths as well as special challenges to learning some concepts. One child was a kinesthetic, visual, oral/auditory ordered learner. The other child was auditory/oral, visual, kinesthetic learner. As each ran into a roadblock in their learning I adapted a tool of learning to help them acquire the concept. Today, each has mastered a vocational field and continues to update their skills in their chosen vocation.

I consider it an honor to be able to work with anyone interested in learning. Your success mastering new ideas are the priceless rewards that are within reach when you decide to set up a tutoring relationship with me.

I will look at intelligence and multiple intelligences in my next post.


Barbara B.

Languages and life; history, religion, public presentation

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