Learning To Learn (Again)

It has been a while since I had the time and energy to write. Recently, think the last two weeks were almost too busy and tiring to even read. I am grateful for short stories. Besides reading some short stories I was unable to continue my studies. So lately I have been thinking about how to effectively learn learning again.

If that last line sounded silly to you well so be it. One of the constant challenges on every level of eduction is how to learn effectively and consistently. Through the years this subtle aspect of my life has been a constant struggle. These days I am working on Spanish and French among others.

One of my biggest struggles to learn was with statistics. In that instant I forced myself to relearn the basics of mathematics, number theory, number applications and everything about statistics to make working with numbers more intuitive. The process was very unpleasant but I will repeat it if I ever feel I need to improve my calculation skills. I am not intuitive with numbers.

The thing with learning to learn is that much depends.

  • Topic and/or subject (matter)
  • Learning goals
  • Information sources (jargon can be a terrible thing!)
  • Matching personal preferences with learning methods
  • Associations you already have

That last point is very important for me. I used to have a terrible teacher for statistics. His teaching style left such a negative impression on me that I had a hard time learning statistics. The same thing happened with economics. I once had a great teacher whose notes trumped my books. After him every teacher who was sloppy I sometimes had the immediate urge to walk out. When economics teachers do not emphasise ceteris paribus and the importance of explaining variables in models I consider them worthless.

How to learn effectively is very personal. Per topic, per subject there is variation and some people prefer theory, some practise and some classroom time. I am still struggling with my studies. Sometimes I find out that old methods no longer work and I have to change things again.

I am still learning to learn…