How we Learn – Repetition, Challenge and Reward

Brain weights2.jpgThink back to when you learnt a new skill, something you wanted to learn and which you became reasonably good at – playing a sport, learning a musical instrument, dancing or a new work skill.

Most likely it was a hard at the beginning. But as you practiced and practiced – your tennis swing, the guitar, the new software at work  –  it started to become a little easier. Then you tried more difficult aspects of the skill you were learning. At first this was challenging, then after enough repetition and practice you began to master it.

Remember how you felt when you succeeded, even a small success, especially if your teacher or coach recognised your success and congratulated you. And how eventually you used the new skill easily, without having to think much about it. It became almost automatic for you.

Learning Principles from Neuroscience

Neuroscientists have extensively researched what happens in our brains during this learning process. Using machines that can scan our brains while we are thinking or performing an action, these brain scientists have defined the principles that are needed for children and adults to learn:

  • Frequent repetition of the skill task – practice makes perfect!
  • Adapt the degree of difficulty of the skill task to the learner’s level. Don’t make it too hard (learner becomes discouraged). Don’t make it too easy (learner becomes bored).
  • Practice all aspects of the skills together if possible. For example in tennis, practice serving, forehand, backhand, volley etc together during the learning. Don’t make the player fully master one skill, say serving, before starting on another.
  • Provide regular, frequent, timely motivation. When the student does a task well, reward them for their success at that time. Don’t wait until after the training session is over.

The LearnFast neuroscience programs incorporate these learning principles, so your child will experience success as they build their learning and reading skills. Imagine how good they will feel.