Monday, February 3, 2014

About Learning: Redeeming Time on the Treadmill


I have been watching a fascinating DVD from The Great Courses entitled How We Learn.
It makes my time on the treadmill go faster, and that's always a positive thing! ;)

I'm intrigued with studies by scientists who observe how babies and children learn, and I ran a little faster on the treadmill this morning when I heard we adults can keep learning throughout life! (Well, actually I didn't run. I only walked faster; it just sounded much more exciting to say ran!) 

According to latest studies, it's a myth that humans don't develop new brain cells as we age. The process (new brain cells developing) only happens in certain regions of the brain, but one critical area is the hippocampus--the region of learning and memory! 

"We can learn new things throughout life," echos the website brainfacts.org. "A person in their eighties still grows new neurons, but to harness the potential of these newborn cells, we need to keep challenging ourselves, exploring new things, exercising, and seeing the proverbial cup, not as half empty, but as half full."

Hurrah! That's good news to me! I love to learn and hope to be able to have a properly functioning, improving mind all my life. By the way, courses from (what use to be called The Teaching Company) now called "The Great Courses," are a fantastic way to keep ourselves thinking and learning. Curt and I are also taking advantage of Hillsdale's free online courses. They're wonderful! 

Parents of babies and toddlers, don't underestimate what your little ones can learn!
It is astounding how what you do with them when they're tiny affects what they are able to do as they mature. People who think most of a preschooler's time should be spent in mindless play should watch this series of lectures. 

Now, let's go learn somethin'! :)

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