Learning to use new techniques the 5Rs

So far in this book you have read about a number of new learning techniques, including these "getting ready to learn" skills:

♦ Consciously modeling or imitating others.

♦ Pondering the different feelings—pleasant and unpleasant—triggered by different learning experiences.

♦ Pondering your motives for learning—the original ones and the ones that keep you going.

♦ Understanding the different roles played by people when learning together.

♦ Getting in touch with the emotions that suffuse learning.

Most of the rest of our list are the techniques you need if you are to become an effective learner.

Let me take you back to your school days for a moment. For most of us, the essential tools or basic skills of childhood were the so-called 3Rs: wRiting, aRithmetic, and Reading. While these remain core skills, they are no longer the only ones to acquire in the Knowledge Age.

British academic Guy Claxton has produced a compelling analysis of this issue in Wise-Up: The Challenge of Lifelong Learning. Claxton argues for a different set of 3Rs: Resilience, Resourcefulness, and Reflectiveness. These, he asserts, are the new core areas of competence on which the lifelong learner should be concentrating. They are much broader than the old 3Rs. And that is the point—they refer to the real world of lifelong learning, where attitudes and skills are much more important than the possession of specific knowledge.

I agree with him. But, there are two further very important areas: Remembering and Responsiveness. Memory is the key to so much of our learning, especially memory for techniques and approaches rather than memory for facts. In an electronic age, this latter attribute is increasingly far less important. And it is the capacity to adapt that is the real attribute lifelong learners need if they are to be able to change the way they do things in their lives.

So, don't think of the old 3Rs, but of the exciting new 5Rs: Resourcefulness, Remembering, Resilience, Reflectiveness, and Responsiveness. These skills are at the heart of what makes a competent lifelong learner.

Resourcefulness, Remembering, and Resilience are dealt with in Part II, while Reflectiveness and Responsiveness are explored in detail in Part III, as they tend to come after a learning experience.

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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