Saturday, March 14, 2015

Why do people learn?

Often we ask how people learn. And that there are adult learning theories and child learning theories. But I think the fundamental question is really less about how people learn but more about why people learn?

And the simple answer to that is, people learn when they want to. Whether it is adults or children.

That want can be a function of passion or fear. It may start from curiosity (I want to know that because I want to know, or because it is cool or because my friends are doing it or it is new or something like that...) or coercion (This is important for my job, for my goals, for my survival - think army as an extreme example, I need to pass, my parents will get angry, whatever).

Anything that a adult or child wants to learn out of their own self interest - they will learn. And if you can get to this point (preferably on the curiosity side, but the other side is effective as well though I prefer the former to the latter, competition also works), you can keep aside all learning theories. If (the big IF) you get to this point where they are convinced that they need to learn this skill.

By hook or crook. By asking. By trying. Failing. Falling. Getting up. Trying again. And finally getting it. They reach there. Every small triumph celebrated. Every small instruction internalized. And slowly, but surely, they scale up to unconscious competence.

Any doubts on that? 

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