How Should Students Learn?

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How Should Students Learn?

Let us first start with a question to the parents & guardians: What is our single most objective when we are strict with our kids and ask them to study? That they spend more time learning, absorbing and then applying during exams and in real life.

Unfortunately, there is a little correlation between the number of hours that a child studies and how much he retains. In other words, just because a child studies for more hours doesn’t mean that he will remember better or that he will score more marks.

So then what is the answer?

The secret is not how much one studies but how he/she studies.

And the secret formula is LAP –  Following the loop of ‘Learn-Apply-Practice’.

Instead of learning theory for 1 month, followed by doing numericals for another 1 month, the topic should be broken down into smaller concepts with a short, independent loop for each of them consisting of Learning, Application & Practice. When a student completes more loops, his/her chances of retaining the concept are far far higher.

Let us take the analogy of Yoga or any physical exercise to explain this in further detail:

Warm-up / Recap:

We start any exercise session with Warm-up. Similar we at Sunali’s Classes start every lecture with a Recap (including Doubt Solving) of the previous session. This warms up the student’s body and brain and retrieves the concept from the previous loop. In an one-hour class, the recap is usually for 5-10 minutes. Without this, the learnings from rest of the lecture may not be fully understood.

Start of the new Loop – Learning or Brain Activation:

The next phase is very critical where the Next Loop is started and where we teach the new concept. It is like a Core Exercise or like an ‘Asana’. This is where the brain is activated, useful enzymes secreted, neurons firing and the mind is learning. While technically, the brain is not a muscle, but it does have similar properties. And the same way when we lift weights, the muscles get strengthened, the mental ability increases when a new concept is understood properly.

Brain Digestion:

Just activating the brain is not enough and the ability to retain the new concept depends on ‘Long-term potentiation’. In simpler words, the connection between neurons needs to be reinforced for it become strong. Hence, we at Sunali’s Classes pause for 5-7 minutes once a new concept is taught – We either ask questions, show an Audio-Visual, conduct a small activity so that the new concept is fully digested by the brain. Read here to understand in more detail how a brain learns

Application or Brain Acceleration:

The second part of the loop starts here. In most subjects like Maths, Physics & even English just understanding the concept is not enough, especially in CBSE & ICSE. Learning the application is more important. As a result we solve a couple of sums in the next 20-25 mins so that the brain is further accelerated.

Brain Cool-off:

Before a Yoga session or any Physical Exercise ends there is a ‘Cooling-off’ time. Similarly the last 5 minutes in the class are spent on solving doubts and clarifying the homework. This is important to cool the neurons so that they are ready for the next learning loop. The class ends here but the loop has not ended yet!

Practice:

As the old saying goes, “You hear and you forget, you see & remember, you do & you understand”, similarly, once a new concept is learnt – both its theory and application, the student needs to go home and complete our practice sheet to complete the loop.

While some questions are intentionally kept simple and are easy to solve (so that neuron connections become concrete), other questions are slightly tougher which requires more mental stretching & application. Doubts, if any, can be asked on our #1 Rated App or in a special doubt solving class. In most cases we also start our class with Doubt Solving of the previous concept as a part of our Recap so that students build on their learning.

In summary, next time do not ask your child how long did he study but how many ‘Loops of LAP’ did he complete.

LAP: Learn-Apply-Practice.

Reach out to us to know more about ‘Loops of LAP’

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