This blog post is in response to a study question for ALC203. Question: How do we learn? What have your experiences been in relation to this question?
It’s quite simple really, most of us learn by doing and simply having a go. By learning through ‘hands on’ experiences, we can reflect and evaluate our performance. As much as we need expert opinions and scholarly research to guide us, it is important to understand that they probably learnt by doing too. When we read theoretical ways of how to physically perform a task in books or online, but never actually tried it ourselves – how do we truly consolidate the learning? There’s only so many times someone can tell you how to do something, but taking the first step and actually having a go is where the learning begins.
Over my time at University, I occasionally like to look through motivational quotes about learning. I came across this one a couple of days ago and thought it was relevant:
“The world is the true classroom. The most rewarding and important type of learning is through experience, seeing something with our own eyes” – Jack Hanna. Quote source can be found here.
I like this quote. I believe it does reflect what experience is all about and the journey that comes with it. You have to want to learn, nobody can truly force you. The classroom is where the cogs tick inside our minds, encouraging us to think beyond the unexpected. It is then up to us to take the unit material and degrees into the outside world. One of the main reasons why I applied for my dream internship back in February, is because I knew it was up to me to find out more about my desired industry. To gain an understanding of the industry you’d like to step into after graduating, you do need to show initiative. Experiences can sometimes be just as valuable as a qualification and this is another reason why I applied for it. I was fortunate to secure it and since then I have learned new skills such as: contacting journalists, improved my interviewing skills and crafted and distributed media releases. The internship is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Stepping out into the world is daunting but if you’re hungry to learn from professionals in YOUR desired industry, it’s something you’ll never forget. I can’t really put a price on the learning experience.
A lot of my learning and further research for uni assignments is stimulated by what I have learned in the classroom (paying attention to the unit material!!) I often find myself going off track sometimes, looking through articles that are somewhat relevant but not entirely to the assignment. I find information which is related but it might not be relevant to a specific essay question. There’s two things I take away from this, who knows when the information might come in handy and I’m still learning!
Making mistakes is a big aspect of learning, but we can also learn from our past success. Life is one big learning curve really, we either learn from events that don’t work out so well so we can try better next time, or the success part…going onwards and upwards (what we should aim for!). Learning is an ongoing process we all encounter each day, we learn by asking questions, going for a walk, seeing new places and so on. Books and articles provide a foundation for learning but it is up to the individual to determine how far the learning goes. So, I guess what I’m saying is learning is something that never ends, you can always push yourself to learn more. I feel the best way to learn is through physically engaging with the task itself. Practice and planning are the two components to learning which enhances the individual’s skills and gets the task done!