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venkat yuvaraj

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Remembering academic content should be unconscious and emotional. Focus should be on human behavior rather than technology.

We continue to force our children to read, write and listen to remember academic content. But Learning and Remembering academic content are two different actions. You cannot force the same method as learning to remember academic content. We should allow individual kid to store the content in their brain as they like. My thought process is to leverage the behavior involved during Design & Art process to remember easily. You can remember an art easier than a chunk of text. Once a kid completes the learning process, we should allow them to express their emotions in the form of Art and Design which would allow them to create a strong neural connections. Just Reading and Writing repeatedly is not going to help them to remember academic content. We know that this doesn't work as students continue to go blank during exams. Without good content memory, Students won't get confidence on their learning.
Without emotional experience, practice doesn't make perfect. So Remembering academic content should be done unconsciously. They should spend more time in Learning than remembering academic content.
Example : Once the teacher completes a chapter, students should be allowed to design based on the chapter content. In that way, learning is complete and remembering the content also made easy and unconscious.
For more information on my project, please visit http://www.letterforms.org

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    Jul 19 2013: When I try to teach statistics as a mentor, I always ask them if they learn by heart or by understanding.
    It's a rough cut up, but most often, people tend to be in one category.
    I really had a hard time learning my English, French or Latin vocabulary (I quit Latin after 3 years because of that), while a lot of the students in my class got high scores.
    The difference is that, when you learn by heart, you can't remember it for a long time, while I still remember the lessons of the rabbit in grade school or how the earth layers interact from high school. Because I learned through understanding. I also never could understand Lacan, and in the end I concluded it must be wrong what he was making up in his weird theories.

    Anyway: I'm not a proponent of learning by heart, but I do think that learning the structure of your courses (i.e. the chapters and sub chapters) by heart is useful: it generates the context of what you study.

    I am strongly opposed to unconscious or emotional learning alone, as you actually really need to study and put a lot of effort in your understanding of what you are learning. It is hard and it takes time and exercise.
    There is something as unconscious learning, but then that ends up in your intuition: you think something is true, but you don't know why... Furthermore your intuition is heavily biased.

    I recommend you to read Kahneman "thinking fast and slow" and learn something about learning processes in different psychology courses.

    Of course I learned a lot about history through playing Civilisation... but without my dry lessons in History, I wouldn't be able to put them on the right time-line or cultural perspective.

    I think your claim of unconscious learning is a false one, or at least exaggerated.
    My passive learning of Japanese only brought me so far. I did need a book to get further, and going to Japan for a few weeks also helped a lot.

    Your PDF needs more references to real research and data.
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    Jul 19 2013: the only emotion we need in teaching natural sciences is the euphoria of understanding
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      Jul 19 2013: That is how I interpreted the importance of emotion here- the feeling of excitement about learning, the satisfaction at persevering, the comfort rather than fear of making mistakes as part of the whole project, and the euphoria at understanding.
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    Jul 19 2013: Two different resources come to mind in reaction to your proposal. One is the popular TED talk on doodling that is all about how graphical representations help us process ideas. It has over one million views! http://www.ted.com/talks/sunni_brown.html

    The second is the emphasis in teacher training in the last twenty years or so on encouraging students to use different kinds of graphic organizers or mapping strategies for representing and summarizing content. When I did my student teaching a long time ago, the first thing the teacher did whose class I was supporting was to get kids accustomed to representing scientific ideas with graphic organizers in place of conventional notes..

    My students made comic books about heat.

    Aside from this pretty much any teacher knows success depends on engagement of the student with the teacher and the content. It is all about emotion- motivation, a sense of excitement, instilling a love of learning...This idea is, of course, a very, very old idea!
  • Jul 20 2013: The term for better learning or understanding of the subject materials, should be, IMO, "rational" instead as "unconscious". Let me discuss what kind of rational learning in many fields/disciplines of interest.
    1. Design in arts. For instance in drawing and painting, the student shouldn't memorize the detail of the exhibit or the class material, but rather should concentrate on the particular pattern or feature of the work. Even in a real model. what they should notice is, say, the particular feature of a human face. Every face has a nose, mouth and eyes and ears, so one doesn't have to memorize all that, but to notice what are the unique features of that face or "organs". In cartoons or impressionists painting, the particular features are often exaggerated to such extremes that the general life-like images are obliterated, sometimes even unrecognizable. But for the artists, it is easier to "memorize" for his work.
    2. Musics. For players of classic pieces, it is almost impossible to memorize an entire piano concerto without the understanding or comprehension the emotion and flow of the music. So he must understand the "sound" and the "structure" of the whole piece. And since the chords attached to a particular note have a limited pattern or variation, so that he comprehends the whole piece similar to a glance of a whole picture as well.
    3. Poem and essay. Again, the rational learning is to understand the whole "picture" of the emotional content, coupled with the rules of poetry (rhymes, etc.) or grammatical rules and key words for an essay instead of a simple memorization.
    4. Math. If one is familiar with the relation of A implies B, B implies C and C implies D, etc., then if one is asked what is the relation of A with D. One should immediately see it and even could work it out quickly in his head.

    In summary, a rational learning formula is to explain the rational principle then let the students to practice and think efficiently to create new pieces of work.
  • Jul 20 2013: i believe every child has the joy of learning already and it is our job to not destroy it. The family needs to nurture it and teachers need to make sure they do not crush it. Unfortunately, some families do not support and protect the joy and teachers crush it without even realizing that they have done it. Sometimes teachers do not even care.

    This can happen in college and grad school.
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      Jul 20 2013: I think extremely few k12 teachers do not care. Not caring may well be much more common in higher education, because many in higher education are passionate mainly about their research and may see teaching large classes as simply an obligation, just as it is an obligation to take their turn on various committees.
      • Jul 20 2013: i hope you are right but a non scientific study indicates to me that 10% of the k-12 teachers are not there for the students but the pay check. they demand respect and give no respect to the students. When students ask questions or points out they are wrong, the student pays a penalty.
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          Jul 20 2013: You are right that people in every line of work or life vary in how much they respect their bosses, their clients, their colleagues, their children, their parents, and so forth. It doesn't actually mean they are in the relationship only for the paycheck. I think this is a misdiagnosis that distracts reformers from the most important issues.
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    Jul 19 2013: Thanks for correcting me.. I didn't intend to say "Learning" but "Consuming" Academic Content. (Updated)
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    Jul 19 2013: On a note of using youtube video ... Youtube video might work for subjects like Math, but you simply cannot take that model approach and apply to have textual based subjects like Civics, Sociology, Economics and so on..because if you go in that direction, you will end up creating a video which will freeze for 7 minutes with just a chunk of text on the screen. (Check some of the Khan Academy site on sociology, Civics subjects).
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    Jul 19 2013: Thanks for your time and response... Here is what my focus... Today, children are good at drawing, doodles, art but my focus what are we doing with that behavior... Children love to read comics, novel but not academic content... so what are we doing with that behavior... We are not leveraging that behavior with Academic content. We don't connect Art with academic content. Today, you continue to force your kid to read and write repeatedly which they don't like anyway. My focus is , don't make them to read and write to remember academic content. let them do what they like but keep the academic content as the source for design/comics/art/doodle. If you ask a politician "How to make academic content interesting"? he will probably talk about "standards, funding, curriculum, creative teachers, parents, infra structure... If you ask the same question to a Kid, they will simply say "Don't force us to read and write Academic content".. - In other words, feed academic content without knowing them.. and my take is ,we should simply give them the academic content and let them do what they want. Our brain will store automatically the content.
  • Jul 19 2013: I am not sure it is clear what you are advocating.