In this video “Learning how to Learn” Barbara Oakley talks about having a focus mode when learning and a diffuse mode. Your mind is in focus mode when you are focusing all your attention on a task or concept, the diffuse mode is when your mind is in a resting state. She states that learning occurs when the mind jumps back and forth between these two modes. Allowing the mind to rest when a challenge to learning is encountered, allows for a broader pathway to a new thought or solution to build in your brain.
As she was talking, I thought about my reaction to discovering that using learning styles approach is not an effective teaching strategy. My mind was racing and I had to go away from my work to rest in order to make sense of this new insight and my own thinking about it. This is a clear example of how the focus and diffuse modes, Ms Oakley talks about, work together to orientate new thoughts.
Ms Oakley gives some great examples of ways to develop your learning skills at the end of this video. She suggests developing flash cards for yourself and working a problem through several times will help the brain develop and strengthen these pathways to recalling knowledge. She states that understanding combined with practice and repetition in various circumstances is most effective when learning.