me kay cooke

Learning to Flow

With GCSE and A Level revision being a key theme at this time of year, it’s sometimes useful to shift attention away from the cramming of ‘knowledge’ and take a peek at the PROCESSES that enable learning to FLOW.

 

Several educational and Accelerated Learning models propose something like a wheel that explains the flow of attention during learning.

 

My adaptation looks a little like a wheel of 4 segments that cycles incoming information from short-term attention to long-term storage, and then retrieval.

 

  1. INTEREST – something (i.e. knowledge) grabs your attention, or is presented to your attention and short-term memory.
  2. MEANING – you decide whether it is, or could be, useful to you.
  3. PRACTISE – rehearsing and practising helps you to know and understand the thing and transfers it to long-term memory.
  4. APPLYING – you can recall, apply and synthesise the knowledge (e.g. exams).

 

The concept here is there is a sequence to the flow and each segment depends upon the preceding segments.

 

My recent clients (students) who have asked for support with their revision, have found this ‘learning wheel’ useful, and even empowering when faced with parents or teachers who have insisted on ‘knowledge’ being the only thing to focus on. Which for some, can put a spanner in the spokes, so to speak.

 

One of the things NLP teaches us with regard to any strategy – in this case ‘learning’ – is to consider the things that support or obstruct it. With this in mind we can look at factors that keep the learning, and re-access to it, in motion:

 

  1. INTEREST + HAVING FUN
  2. MEANING + RECOGNISING BENEFITS
  3. PRACTISE + PERCEPTION OF EASE
  4. APPLYING + HAVING CHOICE

 

We can also explore factors that obstruct the wheel’s smooth cycling and therefore hinder the learning process:

 

  1. INTEREST – BEING PASSIVE, NOT INTERESTED
  2. MEANING – FEAR OF FAILURE, SOCIAL EMBARRASSMENT
  3. PRACTISE – FEELING RESISTANT, DISTRACTIONS
  4. APPLYING – FORCED ATTENTION

 

If we look at assisting the learning flow through this model, then it becomes clear that having fun, recognising the benefits, perceiving it’s easy, and having choice, becomes a new focus – different to a focus on facts and data.

 

Many students are familiar with the use of ‘post its’ and peripheral posters to embed knowledge – yet few have considered the embedding the ‘flow’.

pen pot
box of coloured pens

This can be done through the ‘post it’ principle of peripheral reinforcement, this time using learning objectives, life goals, essential attitudes, and core beliefs.

 

I frequently have my students/clients create (kinaesthetic) peripheral posters (visual) to subliminally reinforce these ‘flow’ favours. They constantly see and remember the posters around their bedroom; with an invitation to read them out loud each day (auditory reinforcement) to keep attention focused as well as ensure a strong imprint.

 

For example:

 

GOALS connected to GCSE revision

  • Feel proud after GCSEs having achieved my best results
  • To move on to A Levels
  • To get a job that I’m good at and enjoy

 

Future me

Fun

Interest

Easy

Good job

The future me will be proud and thankful

My memory works best when focus, practise, and test it

When I’ve finished this revision I will feel satisfied

I will enjoy relaxing after my revision

Learning this revision will help me in the future

Learning can be fun and interesting!

Great job!

A Levels!

Degree!

 

In NLP terms we might refer to this ‘learning flow’ strategy in terms of timeline, well formed outcome, emotional connection, positive presuppositions, unconscious mind, Milton Model, and probably more.

 

Perhaps too, our younger audience will help to influence the flow of adult learning?

 

It’s time for revision

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