How Do We Best Learn? by Emmanuel Marc Laborte

29 Mar

All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.  ~Martin H. Fischer


                Learning they say may occur as part of education in most forms, and some be through experiences, school, books and etc. But I say that learning is something within. Because I strongly believe that people choose what to learn in a way it is goal oriented for them or by means of motivation that’s why they have this certain dedication to learn. That’s why it’s true that learning is not compulsory but rather contextual because learning is not just something thrown to you and you will get it right away, it is a process we all take, trying to get used to something which enables us to build and shape what we have already know from our first experiences.

For me, I say that I best learn alone or self-study. I could get and process something real fast when I have studied it by myself not that a teacher has to tell me and discuss how such problem would go. But instead, I best learn from trying it out, getting an experience from it, and figure out for myself how such thing went. Like for example in the kitchen or learning myself to bake a cake. I would insist making one so to see for myself what is needed to be added or to take away so that I could come up with a moist cake. The way I do it is get a recipe, study it, know my ingredients, get techniques and do it. Once is done, there I see for myself what I should improve on the next time I make one.

I think the reason why self-study helps me more maybe because it’s how the way I grew up learning things. For example in school, I understand the lesson more if I search more of it and read the book rather than a teacher explaining it for the whole class time. On the other hand, learning best alone could also mean as learning through my own experiences too. As a culinary student, I say that whenever I have encountered a specific food or cuisine, I try to learn from every bit of it, observing the texture when it feels your mouth, its tastes, the consistency, the way it looks, smells, and everything. I grasp every single detail I could with my 5 senses. And this is how I learn about such thing, I must be able to use my 5 senses to fully say to myself that, “Yes, I’ve learned and know what this is.”

Another is that I grew up as an athlete, and as an athlete you have to learn moves as fast as you can by watching other people play to attain new skills or understand better the moves that you are trying to attain to play a good game.

I am also a very competitive person. For me to improve in my sport I always give my 100% attention on other players or my coaches just to bring my basketball skill level up. Observational learning is the best for me. It amazes me how I can observe some things in certain details because in that way I learn too the “secret” of why they do that in the sport; especially the fact that I had a complete transition to a different sport (from Basketball to playing Futsal, and even having to play the “hardest” position in the team). I can pick up moves and imitate them right away after I have embedded it in my mind, it was not easy but I get to pick up moves and theories as fast as I can possibly can just to not let my team down. I also apply this learning when we learn new recipes and techniques in the kitchen. You really need to pick up fast whenever you encounter this situation in the kitchen, especially if you are going for an internship.

I think or believe that having this skill has its advantages because we can just observe, analyze, imitate, and remember that action and improve on it as quickly as possible, though only for certain circumstances but I can have its fullest advantage because of my future career of becoming a chef.

I also tend to learn best when I see things done in front of me, so my another learning style is via observational learning. So if I see something done once then I can replicate it. Of course I can’t get it all right in one go if the task is long and there’s a lot to be done but through repetitious observation I can get things done. A good example for learning would be if I go boxing. The trainer can show me what to do like jab, hook, and upper cut, straight also the correct boxing stance once but through repetition and practice I will get it down quickly as opposed to if he were to sit me down and try and explain how it’s done. I have ADHD so I lose focus when I’m just sitting down but with anything I can observe it captures my interest and allows me to focus as best as I can so that is why observational learning is the best approach for me.



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