Innovation Anchored in Tradition:
Action Research @ Glendale Community College

Project Links:
What is PAR?
Literature Review
Cycle One
Cycle Two
Cycle Three
Reflection on '04-'05

Future Cycles

Michael Dulay

Personal Theory : Sample
(due second class meeting)

Sample Student
Psychology 101

Personal Theory

The ability to learn is a gift which given to all human being. No matter how old you are or what your gender is, we can learn things at our own pace. Although the ways of learning may differ from each individual, I believe that the most effective way of learning is to stimulate brain by experiences, getting a strong impression, and finding a connection between learning objects and our knowledge.

People learn things from their experiences. When experiencing something, we use our sense of sight, hearing, smell, taste or touch to get some information. The information we collect from our senses are transmitted to our brain, and analyzed there. Then we get a better understanding and recognition. When I was studying for anatomy, I spent a whole week to memorize every bone of human body. By the end of the week, when I looked at pictures in the book, I was able to name all of them perfectly. I went to the classroom and when the professor showed us the real bone, she pointed out one of the parts of the skull and asked me what the name of that part was. To my surprise, I couldn't answer to her question. After that, I spent more time on learning them with the actual bones. As I touched and looked them directly, I really learned and knew the name and location of the bones.

Getting an impression also helps us to learn better. Involving our emotions with the process of learning helps to get a better understanding of what we try to learn. For examples, when my professor gave us a funny story to explain the reproductive system and I laughed so hard, I didn't only understand better but also remembered them better. Another example is to learn from mistakes. When I was taking an exam, I couldn't come up with the answer to a certain question. I knew that I read about it somewhere in the text book. I put the answer unsurely and that was bothering me whole time while I was waiting for getting my exam back. As soon as I received my test, I checked out the one I was struggling to remember. I found out that I got it wrong. I corrected my answer right away, feeling so frustrated. At that point, I could finally learn the one I missed. Thus, having a strong impression on learning object can help us to memorize and store the information of what we have learned in our brain.

Lastly, finding a connection between learning objects and our knowledge is the key to stimulate brain. When encountering something new, it usually takes us more time to learn and understand them. But if we can find some connection between unknown things and what we already know, and apply our knowledge to learning objects, we can get a better understanding easier and faster. When I took U.S. history, I learned by comparing Japanese history with U.S. history. Since I already knew more about Japanese history and not much about U.S. history, I used the knowledge of one to learn the other. For instance, in memorizing the year of a certain event in the U.S., I always recalled events happened in Japan in the same year. In that way, I could connect history of the U.S. and Japanese and learn the one I didn't know. We can also learn and remember better by finding some connection when we study like foreign language. When I was studying Spanish, I found some words that spelled or pronounced the same way in Japanese words. "Vaca" is cow in Spanish and means stupid in Japanese. I learned and still remember those words.

In these ways, I believe that we can learn things most effectively by stimulating brain as we experience, get an impression, and find a connection between learning objects and our knowledge. Learning is totally different from studying. We often think that we learn when we just memorize everything and study enough to pass the exam in school. But real meaning of learning is to have a good understanding and recognition about things and be able to keep the knowledge we obtain in our brain.



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Site created on August 10, 2004