There are many ways to learn – there is no one way or technique that works for everyone. Unfortunately, unless you are/were homeschooled square pegs were jammed into round holes; you were thrown into the deep end of the pool and sink or swim – your problem.
I could never just memorize something. If I didn’t understand it it was not going to stick in my brain. I learned by reading and writing – when I studied for a test I had two methods, depending on how difficult the material was for me. If it was information that I readily absorbed then all I needed to do was read through my notes or the appropriate chapters in the textbook and I was done. My memory was such that I could easily visualize the page and mentally scan quickly through to the information I needed to answer the question. More difficult material I had to write – sometimes it was just a matter of re-writing all my notes – hand to brain – and then I could do the “visualize the page” thing.
My dear, dear 6th grade teacher, Adelaide Forlano, always said if you write a word three times you will never forget it. Worked for me – learning this way worked for me. Read-Write-Done – permanently etched in my memory.
I am a hand-to-brain learner. I am a reading learning. I am NOT a listening learner. This was obviously a problem in lecture type classes – the professor could be the most interesting speaker and none of it, or very little of it, would get processed in my brain. My constant complaint in college was “Just give me the syllabus and the reading list and I’ll come back to take the tests. Don’t make me sit here!”
Same thing when I started learning computers and programming and coding and all that jazz – if there was a manual, I read it and then – sat at the keyboard and – hand to brain. Often if someone was ‘teaching’ me by showing me I would say “I’ll sit at the keyboard, let me do it” – Boom! – hand to brain.
Which is way I HATE being read to – nothing makes me more crazy. Didn’t like it when I was a kid, don’t like it now. It’s just plain annoying. Audio books? Oh hell no. Podcasts? What the hell are they anyway – people you can’t even see talking? Give me a transcript – I’ll read the material, thank you very much. Do not talk AT me.
And the whole audio book thing – how do you flip back and refresh your memory? How do you flip forward and skip over the boring parts, and if you can’t ‘read’ ahead how do you know which parts to ignore? And suppose they read to fast, or too slow – OMG I can think of so many ways an audio book would drive me insane. And how do you underline things? And how do you look up something you want more information about? Yes, I look up things I read in novels – often just the meaning of a word, sometimes an idea that intrigued me – I put the book down and and go tracking after that…
Audio books – No, not for me. Lecture classes – No. Memorize what I don’t understand – No.
Hand to Brain? Read, Write and Visualize? That’s how I learn.
Does any of this resonate for you?