How do I learn

Bringing the brain together

HDIL-Terminals-Cropped-300x230The brain learns in many ways.

The brain learns through stories, spaces, faces, facts, art, music, experiment, physical movement, and through each other. Different parts of the brain interact in each of these types of learning – some interact in almost all of them, some play a large part in just one or two types of learning.

This variety raises the question: What do we mean by learning? If someone learns resiliently, will they learn in just one of these ways, or in all of them? Does this depend on what the person is trying to learn, or is it content independent?

What about transfer?

HDIL-Purkinje_cell_by_Cajal-215x300One of the most curious and important abilities of the brain is its ability to transfer—to take knowledge from one area of expertise, and apply it to another area of expertise. Renowned cognitive scientist Douglas Hofsteader hypothesized that this ability is “the core of cognition.”

Can we apply how we ride a bicycle to how we learn? How about applying how we ride a bicycle to how we create new forms of fuel and energy to drive a 21st century economy?

It’s in these rich, free, creative connections that the brains’ power is most expressed. Give your students time to create, to make distant associations, and try out hypotheses that are a bit wild.