Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thursday Book Report: How Learning Works

My kid recommended How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett, and Marie K. Norman.  Being a trainer is not the same as being a teacher or professor, but some aspects transfer.  Also, I think of learning as part of life; we are all students and can maximize our learning.

The seven principles are:

1.     Students’ prior knowledge can help or hinder learning.
2.     How students organize knowledge influences how they learn and apply what they know.
3.    Students’ motivation determines, directs, and sustains what they do to learn.
4.     To develop mastery, students must acquire component skills, practice integrating them, and know when to apply what they have learned.
5.     Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted feedback enhances the quality of students’ learning.
6.    Students’ current level of development interacts with the social, emotional, and intellectual climate of the course to impact learning.
7.     To become self-directed learners, students must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches to learning.

When I think about how I plan and implement workout plans, I see how these principles apply to fitness.  For example, we all come to our workouts with some level of knowledge about our bodies and what they can do.  Sometimes we “know” how to do things incorrectly and that means we have to re-learn now to perform a particular task or exercise.  Welcome to the first principle!

Similarly, all of us who have progressed from one level of an exercise to another have experienced the third principle.  We begin our pushups on the wall, move to the bench, maybe use our knees on the floor, and so on, each progression marking a stage of mastery over our bodies.

Let’s take a look and see what we might want to focus on to increase our learning during our workouts.

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