2a - Introduction

Posted by Helen St Clair Tracy in Level 2 - How The Brain Learns
Published: 04/03/2019, 12:15am | Updated: 13/03/2019, 11:30am

Video Link: https://vimeo.com/322888959

When thinking of learning, it is easy to consider schools, and classrooms and teachers and textbooks. These are learning environments, conditions and aids, but not what learning is.

Learning is a brain process.

To learn something, that is to know something, requires a brain process.

This process starts with an experience, for example maybe out walking you come across a beautiful flower, you have never seen before.

Out walking you come across a beautiful flower you have never seen before.Out walking you come across a beautiful flower you have never seen before.

This is your first experience of this particular flower. Think about that experience - how are you experiencing this flower you have just come across?

  • You can see it (sight)
  • You maybe smell it (smell)
  • You maybe cup it in your hands to feel it (touch)
  • Children in particular often naturally bring things to their mouths, to combine feeling using their lips, whilst tasting and feeling using their tongue.

You experience the flower using your senses, and we have five senses of

  • Sight
  • Hearing
  • Touch
  • Smell
  • Taste

The experience of the flower is remembered.

The next time you come across a similar flower, like the one below

Even though it might be in a completely different place, and won't look exactly the same, there are enough parts, based on what it looks, smells and feels like, for your brain to create a match. If you were told that the first flower was a lotus flower, you would probably correctly identify the second flower as a lotus flower, and now you have learnt (you know) what a lotus flower is.

Thinking only of vision:

  • Seeing the flower forms a memory of what the flower looks like
  • When a similar flower is seen, the brain searches for existing memories that match what you are looking at.
  • The brain finds the memory of the first flower you saw
  • The brain recognises the flower

The brain is yours - you see the flower, remember it and when you see something similar you recognise it.

This process of experience (from our senses), memory and recognition is how you've learnt to do just about everything you can do.

Think of the lotus flowers again, but this time without the use of sight. Think how easy they are to match visually, and how much harder this would be without vision.


Before you move on to the next level, please check:

  • You understand the difference between learning environments and aids, and that there is a process of how brain learns.
  • You understand there is a three way process of experience, memory and recognition
  • You know that we experience using our five senses.

Next lesson: Level 2b How the Brain Learns: Experience


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