The Stages of Learning

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Reference: Critical Thinking in Education

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There are several stages of learning as follows:

  1. Being tutored on a one-on-one basis

  2. Self-learning under supervision in a tutorial classroom

  3. Tutoring under supervision in a tutorial classroom

  4. Practicing mindfulness, which is seeing things as they are with full awareness of all assumptions.

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In the first stage of being tutored, the best place to start is with Mathematics. Mathematics means “tools for learning”. It helps the student build a sense of logic slowly and deliberately.

Mathematics starts with counting. This is a very simple activity, which involves the student in his environment.  Counting extroverts the student’s attention. Throughout the study of mathematics, the attention should be kept extroverted and on the mathematical rules as they apply to the environment.

The rules of mathematics should be learned in the sequence in which they come about naturally—numbers, digits, reading and writing numbers, large numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and so on.

These rules should be learned slowly and deliberately to understand their logic. The student should never go by something that he or she does not understand. Memory has its uses but memorization defeats the whole purpose of learning. Mathematics puts the student in a frame of mind to learn other subjects with understanding.

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In the second stage, you get them to start studying materials by themselves. You check their understanding randomly as they go along. Correct their understanding per the materials as necessary. Teach them how to look up words in a dictionary to understand the lessons better.  So you train them how to self-learn given good materials.

Self-learning is an activity that a Tutorial class supervisor has to make sure that every student has it down pat. If a person is having difficulty with mathematics later then this skill in self-learning must be examined thoroughly.

It is a good understanding of the basics that makes a good self-learner. So, if the skill of self-learning is missing then the student should be thoroughly examined for his understanding of the basic concepts in mathematics.

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In the third stage, an accomplished self-learner can start tutoring new students who need one-on-one tutoring. He puts them on the road to become self-learners.

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In the fourth stage the person practices “seeing things as they are with full awareness of all assumptions”. This practice is called mindfulness.

In practicing mindfulness, a person learns to recognize anomalies and resolve them. Anomalies are discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies in mental perception. Now he can learn anything that he wants to learn on his own by going to the Internet, or from experiences in life.

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