Learning skills by using associations is one of the best ways to improve overall learning quickly. This works for improving reading, writing, spelling, study skills, and math even if you have dyslexia, ADHD, or other learning challenges. Associations are the basis of learning.
In order for our brain to construct meaning we need to have a relationship with the material we want or need to learn. When you have a relationship with the material you are learning, learning becomes a lot easier. This relationship can be either though relevance, emotion, or patterns and connections. You notice here that each of these are ways of using association to construct meaning and retention.
Learning Skills with Associations Helps the Brain to Construct Meaning
Let me give you an example.
The above equation/concept would be like Greek to you. You need to be able to associate the symbols with numbers in order to solve the equation 3 + 5 = 8. You need to make an association in order to learn. You need to make an attachment or association to relate the new experience to prior knowledge or a prior experience (relevance). This makes the material relevant to you.
On the same token, when you are emotionally attached to a topic or emotionally invested in it, learning happens with greater ease. An emotional association can be either a positive or a negative emotion. The fact that you are emotionally involved will help you to learn the material and retain it. For example, remember that story you thought was stupid? Kids can pull up facts from a story they didn’t like if you ask them questions about it after reminding them they didn’t like it. OR, remember how excited you were when you solved the mystery? This story or problem is just like that. Use emotion to engage and retain information. Associate learning with emotion.
Learning skills with connections or patterns are the third way of using associations. Using prior knowledge to make an association to a pattern or connection to what you are learning makes learning easier. “What do you already know that you can apply to this?” If you are studying a math concept such as area and perimeter, think in terms of laying tile down on a floor or putting a fence around a yard. These are connections you can make and relate to.
Learning Skills with Associations is a Step-by-step Process
The step-by-step process of learning is built upon our past experiences. Association is like that. You make an association with the new concepts you are learning with what you have learned in the past (prior or background knowledge), and learning becomes easy. Association is ‘core’ to the learning process. Association is how you connect one idea to another and remember it.
We take this knowledge and apply it in our Awaken the Scholar Within Programs and BTL Products using spelling patterns, using graphic organizers, color coded note-taking and writing, step-by-step processes, mnemonics, vocabulary building, and math concepts. Make learning easy today. Everyone can learn with greater ease when you use the power of learning with associations!
Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET, Board Certified Educational Therapist #10167, is considered one of the top experts in the country in helping teachers and parents identify their students’ learning disabilities/learning difficulties.
She’s been an educator, learning disability specialist, and educational therapist since 1973. Ms. Terry gives teachers and parents the ability to give their child a 2 – 4 year advantage in just 20 minutes a day. She’s a contributing author to education journals. She’s a popular national and international speaker. Her website is at BonnieTerryLearning.com