How Do We Learn?
To be blunt, why are we here? Is it peer pressure, the desire to succeed, the pursuit of financial wealth, or an innate urge mature into adult life that has lead us to the University of Michigan? The textbook answer states that, above all else, we enrolled in college to learn. We attend U of M in hopes of learning the skills necessary to succeed in life.
If it is believed that students attend college to learn, then colleges must focus on facilitating their students’ learning. It is the University and the University Staff’s responsibility to provide students with the best chances to succeed.
Clay P. Bedford, executive of Kaiser Industries, once said…
“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.”
I sincerely believe this quote is true, especially in our modern “everything at the speed of light” society. If students aren’t interested or inspired in what they are learning, they will never fully commit to studying it.
This brings me to my next point: HOW DO WE LEARN? Clearly Lecture Hall 101 isn’t for everyone because learning is a very individualistic concept. Whether we prefer visual instruction, in-depth conversations, or comprehension through repetition, no two people learn the same. As a result, professors should strive to variate the delivery of their lessons. This, in turn, would maximize the number of engaged students in the class and increase the levels of both participation and understanding for the students.
To be honest, this POLI SCI 101 course does an exceptional job of offering various methods to learn. Students who favor their creative side can work on group projects, while opinionated students can use blog posts and linguistic students can write a traditional paper. In this sense, the structure of this course allows all students to find their niche in the academic system.
Unfortunately, this is rarely the case in both higher education and teaching in general. If more classes chose to vary their tasks and use individual-oriented methods of evaluation, then every student could showcase their knowledge using their strengths.
However, until that day comes, it is best to experiment with all types of learning. If a lecture isn’t making much sense, try discussing it with a peer or transferring the information into a chart or graph.
I urge anyone to share a creative method of learning they use. My hope is this blog can help students expand their academic abilities from what is generally accepted to what suits their strengths best.