2276 Failing With Style.

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The concept of styles of learning in a scientific sense is tenuous, at best. Actual categorization & data are speculative for the most part, but there are several theories out there competing for the top spot. Nina is speaking more to the conventional wisdom that people have preferred methods of learning & pandering to those preferences will yield better results.

I learn very easily via sound. Especially if I’m not actively listening. That may sound insane, but I was able to coast through most of my education by doodling while a teacher spoke & just remembering what I heard passively. My mother is the same way. I can still do it, but as I age it’s not as reliable as it once was. It also has never worked for things like math, geometry, algebra, etc… So I struggled with those subjects because they require active participation & a specific kind of thinking. It turns out that I have never needed anything but basic arithmetic in my adult life, so it didn’t end up mattering at all.

I don’t dislike reading, but it hurts my eyes & is much slower than just listening to someone narrate, so I rarely read actual books now. For me audiobooks are the way to go. They aren’t for everyone, but they are for me. Obviously I learn in other ways too. You can’t really describe how to draw to a person & in that area I do better if I’m shown exactly what I want to do. Actually stopping & finding a resource is difficult for a lot of things in art though, so that’s probably why my art has never had some kind of quantum leap in quality at any time. I learn what I can when I have a spare moment.

Anyway, the field of research for learning is quite a rabbit hole if you ever have a evening you want to waste on it.


As a person who suffers from ADHD, I can attest that I learn methods through visual and audial cues and it helps me retain knowledge much better.

The 800 lb gorilla in the room though is…the education environment that you are saddled with in life for the purposes of earning a diploma or degree will require you to focus your methods of learning based upon what the instructor provides.

In other words, their classroom, their rules. If you can’t learn according to their methods, you’ll just have to find yourself another school.

It also doesn’t help matters that ADHD conditions are still being stigmatized where your behavior is branded as “inappropriate” to the class which in the past would make you the target of goading from the instructor and in turn, the rest of the class.

I, too, have ADHD, but I fin the opposite is true. As an early ‘television baby’, one who spent too much time exposed to the sensory overload of TV, I find that I tune out audio/visual and learn better by doing things. Reading is better than either, but I HAVE to take notes.

I take notes too but you have to hope that the teacher speaks at an even pace for you to get down every last detail because contrary to what they assure about repeating themselves upon request, it’s unofficially considered bad form to do so if you do it based on your short attention span and not because of a discrepancy in the teacher’s dialogue. To do so would be trying the class’s patience and make you look like a pariah to those around you.

I can relate with the audiobooks, also because I feel it captures a bit of that deep-rotted social activity of storytelling – that is distinctly human.

Regarding the styles of learning, I wonder if it does not reflect that concept of the different types of intelligence (8 I think). So if you had a predisposition to linguistic or interpersonal intelligence, you might pick things up faster by listening or getting instructions by someone. Conversely, if your intelligence type was body or spatial, you’d do better with hands-on approaches. Surely we fix a mix of this, and I agree that the current forms of teaching or courses fall short on many aspects.

A lot of my stuff is self-taught, what bothers me more is how to keep from forgetting what you learnt! Some people would argue that if you can’t recall things or explain to a certain level of detail you haven’t really learnt anything. Sure, I’m no walking encyclopedia… what I retain is less detail-oriented, does that mean I haven’t really learnt the stuff I worked on? I don’t know, but all I can say is, if you aren’t constantly using or updating that knowledge it will go away eventually. Guess I’d fail at maths and history tests all over again!

PS – Love your comic, been a long-time reader!

They way I learn best is to *use* what I’m trying to learn.

Kinesthetic learners benefit most from taking notes. The very act of writing can help ingrain the material in the memory.

I remember having a Stats class in college where the instructor allowed one 3″x5″ index card of notes to be used during the exams, but I found that just the act of writing up the card helped so much that I didn’t end up looking at the card.

And I still do this when I’m reading material in Japanese. I’ll look up a word I don’t know, and then write it in a notebook, to try to help with the learning. (Doubly helps, since I’m primarily looking stuff up in a Japanese to Japanese dictionary.)

Not sure it’s kinesthetic. Once I decided to calculate my own logarithms from scratch. As check, I calculated the differences between consecutive logarithms — they should decrease smoothly just like the logarithms increase smoothly. Tnen did the differences between the differences. At about the third level of differencing I started to see irregularities and could trace them bach to calculation errors and fix them.

Thd result of all this was that I got better at doing arithmetic correctly. All the drills in grade school had not done this.

I attribute this to me using arithmetic for something instead of just doing it.

Is that kinesthetic? If so I don’t understand the word.

Sounds like he may be a kinesthetic learner like I am, learn by doing, watch something be done, then do it yourself and either have somebody guiding you or have you repeat the task yourself. It’s a good way to learn but can be detrimental with the way the school system is setup that focuses on memorization and the ability to spew said information back out

Tangent: There are two kinds of people: Those who process information by writing it, and those who jettison information from their head (because it’s recorded safely) by writing it.

I’m the former, as I have, several times, recreated a shopping list I wrote and left at home, while in the parking lot at the market.

Type two there, is that because the retain it by having seen it, or because once written it is in the fingers? I am having a very hard time imagining putting pen to paper to forget.

It’s not to consciously forget something, but if someone has many things to remember, and feels overdriven and pressured, and makes lists, they can write / type things down for reference and not have to worry about using that part of the brain to remember thing, but use it for other things. Sort of “offloading” things from the mental forefront.

I’ve always learned best when I’m explained the “why” of something. Give me a random equation to memorize and I’ll invariably forget it; give me a random equation to memorize and tell me the logic behind why that equation works and I’ll remember it.

When I think back on all the crap
I learned in high school
It’s a wonder I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn’t hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

–Paul Simon, Kodachrome”

Are we about to learn that he has a learning disability, at the same time HE realizes it? Because it certainly seems so. He’s lucky to have Nina with him for this <3

Am best with visual or kinetic. I can listen all day long, and when I do, I have to give it 100% of my attention or I retain nothing. This makes auditory books very hard to follow if I’m doing other stuff. I really wanna go through more books but if I tune it out for a min I’m lost and have to backtrack. Same with visual reading, but easier to go back a paragraph.

Kinetic..I like doing. Maybe that’s why I was drawn to science and art. All the experiments.

“Over the last 15 years or so the world has seen fit to heap success on people I have detested for most of my life. It’s absolutely infuriating.”

This is off topic to today’s strip but I can attest this feeling based on your tweet to that of the Grimes effect.

I learn best by doing. I cook, I can read a recipe and know I can do it, many would say I know the recipe. I personally don’t feel like I know it until I’ve done it, at least once, usually a few times to get it right in my headspace.

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