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News & Views - Jun, 1991 Issue 

Laws Of Learning

Eda LeShan, author of The Conspiracy Against Childhood, 1980, pp. 152-153, in her Laws of Learning, could have written them to describe the educational philosophy of Special Purpose Schools. The following is a summary of her laws, and I was struck as to how they are being put into practice by many Special Purpose Schools.

  1. We learn (and hear) only what we are ready to learn (and hear).

  2. We learn most efficiently what is related to our own purposes and interests.

  3. We learn best and retain longest when our whole being accepts the learning, for it then becomes incorporated in our way of living.

  4. We do not learn efficiently when resistance is present in a learning situation.

  5. We learn best when we take an active part in what is to be learned.

  6. We learn certain things from fear and shock. This is a dangerous form of teaching.

  7. We learn inefficiently in anticipation for future use, especially if such use is for some vague remote date.

  8. We learn whole things first; then we can break them down into their elements.

  9. Repetition assists in the learning process when used appropriately.

  10. The emotional state of the learner is of great importance. Anxiety checks learning.

  11. Learning is furthered by the individual's being an active member of a congenial social group.

  12. Verbalization is possible without knowledge or understanding. The facile talker may have only a knowledge of terms. The words may be learned, and predetermined answers given correctly to questions, without the meaning being understood or applied.

Copyright 1991, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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