Mother's Milk and Learning: Some Parallels
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Good learning enables you. Optimal learning and learning conditions are issues of learning theory, educational psychology, and pedagogy. We are to talk of the kinds of learning that involve conscious awareness. There are other levels of learning too.
Rote learning can be a necessity at times. Meaningful learning presupposes you have understood what is being taught. Informal learning happens in day-to-day situations or encounters, or through observations. Nonformal learning is organised by or for people with similar interests, or for exchanging views and the like, and allows for many combined approaches; they include workshops or clubs.
Great losses of learnt material are negative occurrences, and often takes place in settings of formal learning, like universities. There is evidence to prove it - and consider the astounding, even horrible wastes of money, time and human resources that public schools and universities are characterised by. It is staggering. [Jarand Rystad's study from NTH, a Norwegian Technical University, now a university]
Academic learning and practical, handling skills help some. Being skilful helps in general, if you have something or someone to work on. You need opportunities and a fit environment to flourish through skills, after all.
Both universe and university have been likened to a mother. Indians suggest that Mother Nature involves the whole universe like a rather many-faceted mother. And in the West the term Alma Mater, "Nourishing Mother", is another name for the university.
Some things depend on what Jack and Jill are taught to look up to and master, in part on explorations. Jack and Jill tend to become overly serious about learning matters, and tend to ridicule what lies outside the currently accepted topics, themes and so on. However, being abusive will not help anyone in the long run, teaches Buddha.
There are different cognitive styles - more than one way to chew your mother's nipples too. But first, try and make yourself comfortable. Feel as welcome as you really are, and consider that not everything is had by diligence at sucking. More is to be added to it, after some time.
Besides, there is wisdom in this: Go for best things first. To maintain one's integrity, decency, and solid functions, is fit.
Learn to study-see in the open too. By peeling the vegetables, the good stuff is easily found and eaten. By ripping sentences of unnecessary words and phrases, the keynotes stand divested. If they then are brought together on a plate or form a dish, good for you.
By acquanting yourself with helpful kernels (theoretical outlooks and the like), you may become a good student. Applying the finest kernels (keys) is like having a go. If so, you can seek to apply basic standards to arrive at solvency that is without great flaws. And after that you may be free to do much as you like too. One may go for a rich and rewarding life when applying Buddha's general counsels to householders.
Epicurus taught that living properly on an all-round even keel, requires good and skilled thinking to avert such as satiety and many a disease. And eating properly implies all-round care of oneself.
Bad conformity has been found to stultify, to dwarf stuff inside budding individuals. Be not depleted.
We are told that for the sake of the garden thriving, Adam was to protect it and defend it. Thus, even Eden had its thorns somehow. To bulwark or defend one's habitat well needs to be tackled. Many conform customs help it.
Otherwise, for things to work out well, pay enough heed to the "organismic feel", as Carl R. Rogers calls it. Learn to heed your deep-set longings, plans and hunches.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating; if teachings don't help you where you are, they may not suit you well enough, may not be good enough, or may not be well adapted to you or your set of circumstances, and so on.
Getting into a text
Try to read the text through superficially before you try to master it well: Skim it. These are helpful steps.
Now you are ready to get further into the book as you choose. You can look at all those chapters which contain pivotal passages or summary statements in their opening or closing pages. Feel free to dip into a page here and there, reading a paragraph or two, and thumb through the book openendedly, so to speak, hopefully attuning to something of value within it.
Look first for the things you can understand and refuse to get bogged down in the difficult passages. Read right on past paragraphs, footnotes, arguments and references that escape you. If you get into just 50 percent or less - that gives you quite a handle on the book.
After sound skimming, detailed study may lead to worth-while note-taking to favour recall and thereby more solid learning.
Although you will not get from skimming all that reading and study can give you, it is a very practical way of dealing with a mass of texts in front of you, and is often used by editors and the like. By skimming you can get, often with surprising accuracy, a general sense of the contents.
If you use this approach for mere skimming, you may end up discovering that you are not just skimming, but reading and enjoying it. You can enjoy yourself and get cultured in this way.
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