Monday, July 21, 2014

How People Learn Part 1

Do you know how people learn? 

Part 1

This is an intriguing question for both educators and students.  Understanding the human learning theory and psychology not only helps educators design better lesson plans, but also help students retain knowledge longer through working and long-term memory.

As you design your lesson plan, you will be making many decisions that influence learning, including segmenting content, sequencing content, and planning how content will be presented, practiced, and evaluated.

In today and tomorrow's post, we will go over 1) what working and long-term memories are and 2) the psychological processes of learning.

The diagram below shows how information is processed.

When a new content is introduced, learners will first connect what's new and what they have already known.  See diagram above. The content will then turned into working memory.  Working memory has the following properties:

  • the active conscious center of your brain
  • responsible for all thinking and learning processes
  • limited capacity and duration of data
  • separate processing centers for visual and auditory information

For example, 5+35=40 and 9x9=81

By practicing and activating the working memory several times a week, the information will then be stored as long-term memory. Long-term memory has the following properties:
  • the repository of all of your knowledge
  • contains knowledge structures called mental models
  • cannot process information
  • large capacity and long duration for data

For example, what are the Great Lakes? HOMES = Lake Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior

So what memory techniques have you used or experienced in a class? Do you use visual, metaphor or storytelling to activate your students' working and long-term memory?

In tomorrow's post, we will take a deep dive into the psychological processes of learning.  Stay tuned!

Source from ASTD Designing Learning program

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