Learning, experience and common sense

Formal learning usually starts in school. A good
classroom teacher can show me the basics on almost
any subject. Learning the basics only by word of
mouth out in the world will take longer and be less
complete than a well thought out series of lessons.

I believe the most important thing taught in schools is
how to learn. The details of the Magna Carta or the
War of 1812 are not valuable to a fifteen year old but
learning how to get those details when I need them is.
I had to practice on something.

Once I get used to the process I can learn anything
from how to play checkers to rocket science. Knowing
that I can learn what is needed gives me confidence
and leads toward success. It becomes a matter of
deciding what really interests me.

An experience. Something I did, felt or witnessed.
Something that happened to me. Good or bad I
remember it and I learn from it. It’s a better teacher
than lectures, books, videos or audio recordings. It’s
also less organized and can be more painful than
school.

Being told to go slow and be cautious when driving in
bad weather is good. Losing control of the car just once
will really brand it into my brain. The combination of
classroom and practical experience is more effective
than either thing alone.

Common sense is practical knowledge based on every
day experience. Something everybody knows or should
know. The problem is every day experience is not
common. Mine will be different than yours. What is
common sense to me may be nonsense to you.

Learning can be a rewarding life long habit. Learning
through study is the most thorough. Study plus
practical experience really sinks in and gives
confidence. Listening to what is “just common sense”
from others may be helpful or lead in the wrong
direction.

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Ken