Learning: the rough guide
It's amazing how some people can effortlessly memorise the names of a football team or the words of a song, but struggle to learn a subject for school. Why do we learn some things more easily than others?
We all learn in different ways. Some people learn well by sitting and talking in groups while others find they take in more if they move around or listen to music. Traditionally, school subjects have been taught using an approach that relied on students learning by listening and writing. Those school children whose natural learning style wasn't suited to this approach got a rough deal and may have concluded they were weak learners. In reality, they simply had not had the chance to learn in a way that suited them.
So, in the same way as an athlete improves performance by knowing how their body works, you can improve your learning effectiveness by knowing how your brain works.
New methods of learning
If you're feeling a little nervous about getting back into learning, don't be. Learning doesn't have to involved going back into a classroom, there are a lot of other informal ways to develop new skills.
You can learn a lot through informal methods - getting books from the library, accessing the Internet, asking friends to share their knowledge or expertise or watching television. These informal approaches can, but don't have to, lead to more formal learning. If you do choose to take a course you won't be the only student who is feeling a little nervous. Your fellow students can be a great source of support and comfort.
Jackie knew that a computer qualification would help her get a better job but was nervous about making the first steps.
"I was worried about how much it was going to cost, how much time it was going to take up, how much written work I would have to do and the whole business of actually going to find the place and asking how to do all this."
A friend encouraged her to try out a computer skills taster session at her local college and she hasn't looked back:
"I can't understand why I was so nervous. The tutor was really helpful, and the other students were so friendly. So many doors have opened for me as a result. I don't know why I waited so long."
Please use the links on the left hand side of this page to find out more about your learning.