On Learning and Teaching

When I’m learning quickly everything is great. I feel good about myself and my abilities and I throw myself into learning as much as I can.

On the other hand when I’m learning slowly (hitting a “plateau”) I often get frustrated or discouraged. Nothing I try seems to speed up my ascent out of these plateaus. It seems like the only thing that works is time and practice of what I already know.

I think the reason for this is that once I learn a bunch of new concepts my brain needs some time to process them. I can learn the concepts and use them if I concentrate, but it’s not effortless. I think the reason I finally start learning quickly again after some time is that I’ve internalized the previous concepts and now I can move on to more difficult ones which build on the previous ones.

Steve Losh – On Learning and Teaching.