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Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of Masters - seek what they sought

Dr Bruce Copley

By Dr Bruce Copley

It has often been said that human beings are 'born to learn'. If this is true why is it that most of our learning experiences, particularly the structured ones, have felt restrictive and unnatural with content and details quickly forgotten?

It would probably be more accurate to describe the majority of our formal learning experiences as stressful, boring, disempowering and/or irrelevant. While many reasons may be cited for this commonly experienced phenomenon, it is our contention that the major contributing factor for this alarming state of affairs is that little or no attention has been paid to the natural, innate processes and procedures of learning and in particular, learning how to learn holistically.

Studies on the efficiency of traditional education and training, i.e. the ratio between information input and knowledge output in terms of understanding, retention and application reveal that a figure of 10% is rarely exceeded. All functional systems from the machines we use, to the bodies we inhabit have a level of operational efficiency. If for example your car's mechanical efficiency was 10% it would not start let alone get you from point A to B. If your body's immune or biochemical system functioned at 15% you would have to be hospitalised.

Albert Einstein who was expelled from 3 schools because he was considered to be a retarded learner made a statement which is as pertinent now as it was many decades ago: 'If you can get through the 12-year school sentence without being brain damaged, you have done very well.' Learning should and can be a stimulating, engaging and empowering process and it is clear that our traditional educational institutions and learning systems are in urgent need of radical change and transformation.

Cogmotics constitutes what we believe is a simple solution to a seemingly complex problem. By stimulating and involving the whole person, Cogmotics triggers the natural process of curiosity, creativity and wonder which are keys to unlocking human potential. The commonly separated mental, physical, social, spiritual and emotional faculties spontaneously commence a process of reconnection and integration. In this way we begin to rediscover our lost love of learning and reclaim our forgotten connectedness with life.

Inherent in this 'learning rebirth' is the process of holistic or Cogmotic metalearning or learning about learning. Instead of the focus being on conveying information, acquiring knowledge and/or applying a specialised skill or ability, the emphasis is on becoming a skilled or competent systemic learner. Metalearning can and will only begin to emerge when we fully understand that the challenges, burdens and rewards of learning lie not with those who would teach, but with those who would learn. Becoming fully RESPONSE - ABLE or capable of responding fully and holistically to life experiences in general and formal and informal learning experiences in particular, is a pre-requisite for metalearning. Traditional education and learning places most of the responsibility on the administrators and teachers who both ask the questions and give the answers. Although this teacher/content approach is well intended, it unquestionably robs students of their learning responsibility and consequently short-circuits metalearning.

Metalearning is an integral part of Cogmotics which fully recognises the folly of throwing answers like stones at the heads of those who have not yet asked the questions. Becoming skilled at asking questions we have never thought about, were too afraid to ask or were incapable of formulating is an important component of metalearning.

Another essential component of Cogmotic metalearning is the capacity to develop and integrate what we call 'systemic learning: past, present and future.' Essentially this involves honing and refining our innate learning capacities, instincts and intuitions which form the basis of our three major learning insights namely, hindsight, nowsight and foresight. While most of our primary learning occurs after the fact, i.e. through hindsight or experience, quantum learning leaps occur with the development and integration of the other two mechanisms.

Are you a skilled learner or a conformed student, what is your learning style and do you recognise the difference between knowledge and wisdom and between studying and learning? These are but a few of the questions which herald the start of a journey into authentic and efficient personal and professional learning, growth and development. Can you afford to turn a blind eye? This, dear reader, is the question and you are the answer.

For further information please Contact AAHA Learning.