Repetition is the First Principle of All Learning
4 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2001
Date Written: August 17, 2001
The deepest "aha's" spring from an encounter and then a return. Repeating the encounter fuses it into one's awareness. One of the biggest mistakes a teacher can make is to forego the return or repetition. The learning process is one of slow engagement with ideas; gradually the engagement builds to a critical mass when the student actually acquires the idea. Repetition matters because it can hasten and deepen the engagement process. If one cares about quality of learning, one should consciously design repetitive engagement into courses and daily teaching. To do this well is harder than it seems. This column summarizes some subtle issues around repetition, and offers suggestions for how to proceed.
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