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What is real learning?

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Learning is the anticipation of oneself, so schools are necessary where children’s joy of learning is maintained and their interest in the world is challenged and cultivated. But the reality is usually different, because pupils often lose the joy of learning at an early age. But it doesn’t have to be that way, because learning can be fun. For that, you need the right memory and learning strategies. But what are proper learning strategies? Generally speaking, a strategy is a precise plan, a defined sequence of perceptual, mental and behavioural steps of one’s own procedure to achieve a goal or to activate emotions to achieve a specific goal. In concrete terms, learning strategies help us to absorb, process and store new information more easily. A distinction is made between primary and support strategies. Primary strategies are directly directed towards the learning object. They help to promote the information-processing processes. These include repetition strategies, which consolidate the information absorbed, and the so-called elaboration strategies, which link new knowledge with what is already available. Other primary strategies are, for example, reductive-organisational strategies that help to categorise complex detailed information and store it in larger units of meaning. Support strategies, on the other hand, are more responsible for the framework conditions for successful learning. These include emotional-motivational support strategies, self-motivation techniques and shielding strategies. Being able to control one’s emotions is also an important strategy, as are organising-controlling support strategies such as self-management techniques. To learn, one needs an extensive repertoire of suitable learning strategies appropriate to the type of learner, whereby a diverse mix of methods is most effective. One should therefore learn to use all the senses in a varied way, because the memory does not like dull repetition. It is also important to find out your individual learning type. How can you best acquire new content, understand it and memorise it, because then many things become much easier. You will then know which working methods make learning easier, what supports learning, which learning strategies suit your type and how you can combine them in a meaningful way. If you know your strengths, you can easily compensate for your weaknesses and learn more successfully. The most popular student learning techniques are marking important passages and reading content repeatedly. However, these learning strategies are not found to be particularly effective in research. On the other hand, research shows that the best way to retain what has been learned is to postvocalise, i.e. to actively reproduce the knowledge. It is best to tell others what you have just learned, and if no one is available, even pets or stuffed animals are patient listeners. By explaining to others what you have learned, you not only retain it better, but you also identify gaps in your knowledge at the same time.