August 31, 2014

  • August 31, 2014
What has a greater impact on people? Learning from our own life experiences or from what others teach us?

Learning process and education are so important to all of us, and no matter the source of learning and education, along the way they make us transform continuously and become those wonderful person(s) that we are today... 

and keep going, learning further our whole life.
Wondering what counts more for people that, under certain circumstances, can lead to our present and future actions?




Learning ways:- To learn from what we read and perceive within ourselves and/ or around?
- To learn from what others are teaching us (family, school, and other various people and sources)?
- Learning from God?
- Or to learn from our own experiences?
How do children learn and how adults are learning?
What do you thing about learning process and its source?


"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think." - Socrates
Learning from so many different sources

I think that, in learning process and education, the greater impact comes from our genetics and own experiences, much more so than by what we read or are taught.

Principally, I think that is because so much of our intuitive and instinctive reactions to things in the world come from learned behavior, from what we experience which causes us to respond and react to things in ways that can be very different than someone else.
An example would be the way different people react to spiders… 

Someone who has had a bad experience with spiders at some point in their life would much more likely to instinctively react in a negative manner to a spider than someone who hasn’t had any negative experiences at all.

This is a tough question, though, because so much of what we learn comes from so many different sources.

I deem that, intellectually, we learn from all sources as well as intuitively and instinctively and emotionally – as Edgar Dale presented in the cone of learning chart inserted here.
What is different from person to person, however, is the way in which the rational and intellectual learning overcomes or doesn’t overcome the instinctive or intuitive or habitual. Learn from anyone!

Learning from others is, also, extremely important and has certain impact into our lives, either if we’re conscious about or not quite.

Our first steps into life and paramount knowledge is made firstly inside the family and later on at school, by our friends, colleagues or perfect strangers with whom we get in contact along the way.

Any close person to us is eager and willing to teach us good (form their own experiences – a gathering of achievements and faults) for smoothening the paths of our future life wishing to avoid being hurt and suffer as it might happen to them in the past.

And I’m talking here about normal people not about the ones – regretfully, exceptions living amongst us – which even if they are so said close to us or like to pretend that they are – due to certain mental disorders would rather teach us odd things, being selfish, enjoying to manipulate and take advantage on us, making use of sentimental blackmail, criticizing without reason or cultivating insecurities, putting us on black spot up to abusing us.
Each person interacting with our life has something to say and we could learn something out of that… if we pay attention to them, listen carefully, use empathy (or not), filter the information and, eventually, apply it.

So, if one is open enough and has the capability to listen and understand what the other is teaching her/ him, may have the chance to be aware of certain situations, don’t fall in a trap (intended or not), be a step ahead and move forward following the easy way. Of course, each individual has to project and adapt the other one’s experiences to hers/ his under actual circumstances and following own needs or desires.

Learning from others, also, is very important and valuable to us.
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein


Famous quotes about learning:
1. "Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching." - Oscar Wilde
2. "Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." - Buddha
3. "Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can - there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did." - Sarah Caldwell
4. "Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from." - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
5. "If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way." - Mark Twain


Learning from own experiences
The entire humankind is learning, basically, from own experience – each step along our life is making us interact with other people, encounter old and new things, change the environment, perceive and, hopefully, understand what is happening around, including our actions, non-actions, effects and results.

We may notice that some people are native aware of various aspects or events occurred into their life and are able to change or adapt instantly following a new path, while some others are learning in the hard way from own mistakes (often repeated) in any domain or sort of relation, but all of them, in their own way, are constantly learning.


I think that the fundamental aspect in regard to the impact of learning could be found inside our own system, as entity (inherited genes, instincts, each individual’s level of intelligence, developed capabilities, curiosity, etc), and obviously, the learning process goes in the same time at all the other ways and levels, inside and outside us, pushing our mind to work so differently.

Also, even if humans are considered intelligent creatures by nature, I tend to believe that if one does not read enough, does not listen to what other people may have to think or say, does not spend a bit of time with itself and observe how things are going around, does not take risks for good and bad actions, make use of instincts, emotions, mind, it may be unable to gather enough information for his/ her behavior and judgment and the “own experience” (by itself) it may not be complete.

Sometimes, I’m wondering if we put randomly representatives (man, woman, children – different ages, colors, religions, occupations, etc) some from African tribes, others from North Pole, others born in small and isolated communities around the world, villagers, persons born in various sizes of cities and we offer them same type of books, good teachers, wise old man to share their knowledge and experiences which of them will learn faster and better in such a way as at the end of process to be able to handle almost everything and be fully content with themselves.


"Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand." - Chinese Proverb
What do you think is best, learning from our own experiences or from others?



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