Like many of us, I've drowned in resources to learn new skills or improve existing ones. From Udemy, to documentation, to YouTube. But with all the resources out there, it makes me think - how much are you retaining, revisiting, or actually absorbing?
I ask this because for myself, a college and bootcamp (Flatiron School) graduate, I found that I struggled a lot with retaining what I've been taught. Specifically with bootcamp, learning and grasping programming concepts definitely was something I struggled with (and still do!). The usual action taken from this is to keep studying and practising, so that's what I did. Like they say, "Practice makes perfect".
So why is learning such a struggle? I'll admit, I've improved my learning techniques since being a Flatiron School student. They really do a great job at teaching how to learn, understand your thought process, and dig for solutions 🙌. But what I've learned recently through the Learning to Learn - Efficient Learning course on the Zero to Mastery platform is that since childhood we've been trained to learn to pass, not to understand. This really set off a 💡 in my head. Wow - it's true, all these years the goal has been to learn to get a good grade, but what happens after that grade? Most of what I've learned in college or high school died after passing a course I crammed for the night before. I find that (for myself at least) understanding how I've been learning for all these years is the first step to improving how I learn moving forward. Now I'm able to identify whether or not I understand a concept, or if I'm just trying to race to the end goal (finish a project, finish a course etc.). Learning to unlearn, and improving how we do learn is truly an important factor. An article that's shared in this course called The Lesson to Unlearn really made this clear for me, so I wanted to share it. It is a bit of a read, but it's a great one - so if you don't have time to read it all now, be sure to bookmark it!
Also - I was just recently recommended this book called Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware which focuses on learning how we learn, with concepts you can apply to get better at whatever you do. I just ordered it on Amazon yesterday, so no feedback yet - but I'd be happy to share some insights once I start reading it.
Before I end this blog post, I wanted to ask you - "Why Do You Learn?" And I don't mean it in a sense of learning new skills etc. But more so, how are you justifying your learning experience? Are you understanding concepts? Are you learning to pass a course? Are you absorbing what you learn, and if so how do you measure your learning?