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  • Irina Ketkin, author of #adventuresofthelearner

How Accelerated Learning really works

Being half-Bulgarian, I was especially proud when I read that Georgi Lozanov (another Bulgarian) was the first person to find the 'hidden reserves of the mind' by doing "research into the effects of music and positive suggestion on learning using foreign language (...)". Most importantly he found that activities resembling child-like play "allowed learners to learn significantly faster and more effectively". And this main discovery gave birth to the term Accelerated Learning.

"The Accelerated Learning handbook" is the only publication I have found that explains in very simple terms what it is and why it works. I first read it a few years ago, leading me to adopt the principles for every single one of the 100 or so trainings I have designed and delivered ever since.

The principles are quite simple:

  1. Learning involves the whole mind and body

  2. Learning is creation, not consumption

  3. Collaboration aids learning

  4. Learning takes place on many level simultaneously

  5. Learning comes from doing the work itself (with feedback)

  6. Positive emotions greatly improve learning

  7. The image brain absorbs information instantly and automatically.

For those of you who have read he "Engaging Learners" book I previously posted about, will realise that the exact same principles are applied to school children.

But if the above is too abstract for you, let me break it down into more practical suggestions, as described by the author Dave Meier. He proposes the SAVI approach to learning:

  • Somatic: learning by moving and doing

  • Auditory: learning by talking and hearing

  • Visual: learning by observing and picturing

  • Intellectual: learning by problem solving and reflecting

(Is it just me or does this look like a popular learning styles theory?)

But ultimately, the biggest take-away from the book is to think of learners as children - you know, the small people that explore the world using all of their senses. Make them crawl, lick and touch things - that's best way to learn!

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