We have construction going on at my home this week and the contractors just finished pouring cement and are in the process of stamping with a mold to leave an impression. I cannot help but draw an analogy to this week’s reading of the fifth edition of Human Learning (2008) and Coleman’s Emotional Intelligence (1994). As we learn, impressions left on our memory and those impressions are permanent. Some impression molds are beautiful and pleasant, and others can be ugly and offensive. Ormord (p.7) talks about learned helplessness, “People who learn they have no control over unpleasant or painful events in one situation are unlikely, in later situations, to try to escape or avoid aversive events even when it is possible for them to do so.
To a certain extent, our memory is selective and we can choose to not look at what is displeasing. In Human Learning, chapter seven (p. 190) general educational implications of cognitive theories indicate the one can control their own learning, or impressions. If one is actively engaged, learning will take place. It also tells us that memory is selective, and that the learner can only absorb so much.
This week’s reading is a good example of selective memory. The assigned reading was certainly too much to press into memory. I read all the required reading, however, certain parts of the text stand out to me more than others. There were two books to read and I found the Emotional Intelligence much more interesting. The stories drew me in and kept me engaged in the content. At times, my attention was not where it needed to be to when reading the Human Learning text and as a result, I will not gain the full benefit of the reading unless I take the time to re-read. Fortunately, I can refer back to the text—as needed— to refresh my memory. This is the method that physicians use, after all nobody could be expected to memorize the Physician’s Desk Reference.
Tips for teachers to assist students in learning while in the classroom were also of interest (p.191). These tips include: using a variety of topics and presentation style, providing frequent breaks, asking questions, minimizing distractions, and seat troubled students close to the teacher. I agree with these ideas for adult learners, with the...