Introduction to Intuitive Learning

The Intuitive Learning Series by Douglas Gabriel. (c) 2017 All Rights Reserved

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In today’s modern age of education it is hard to keep up with the many new methodologies that flood the market place each year.  New theories of education or workshops on some clever component of the learning process appear in my mailbox everyday.  I can’t count the educational training sessions offered each year by the State or the intermediate school district, let alone the many educators who discover or rename miniscule elements of teaching and learning and call in a new method.

Education is the largest business in America and the choices in instructional methodologies offered to educators is staggering. It is often insinuated that if your method of instruction isn’t “brand new”, then something is wrong with your teaching. Teachers go to a variety of seminars each summer and return with new brain-based, research-based best practices that are hot off the press. Often the research has only been conducted for very short periods of time and yet the method is “proven” by research. A few years later, that very research is supplanted by new research. It is hard to know where to turn to find effective methods that enhance student academic performance that will stand the test of time.

Intuitive Learning is not one of those new methods that has a small research project behind it and claims to be the new and improved model of instruction. Everything in Intuitive Learning has been used in schools for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  We believe that the tried and true methods of learning should not be thrown out for new versions. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese have been successfully teaching complicated systems of knowledge since the beginning of recorded history. The Indian Vedas have been successfully transmitted through an oral tradition from teacher to pupil for over four thousand years without a single word being lost in the transmission. The Chinese language has over 20,000 pictograms which have long, complicated stories involved in the use of this huge collection of symbols. Whatever methods have been used by Indian and China are obviously still effective to this day.  Perhaps we should take stock of these age-old methods to rethink how and why we learn.

Intuitive Learning is self-evident to any learner who pays attention to the processes active in their own learning. Any principle of Intuitive Learning should be checked against simple, common sense thinking to see if it is correct. Though all learning is not universal, there are many elements of the learning process that are common to us all.  These old, tried and true methods are recovered and systematized in Intuitive Learning.

The reader will be asked to look at simple elements of education and question them from the ground up. Direct, observable phenomena can be culled together into a comprehensive picture of what a learner does to learn. Some principles may come as a shock to teachers trained in today’s teacher training courses because direct observation goes against new theories of education. The piecemeal theories of education do not create a comprehensive whole nor are the foundational questions of education addressed. We forget that we do not have a comprehensive psychology of the human being or an effective philosophy of education that answers the most basic of educational questions.

Intuitive Learning posits the premise that basic questions about learning must first be asked honestly, and perhaps there will be no clear answers. Since human knowledge acquisition is changing exponentially, we need a comprehensive theory of knowledge and learning that can grow with human development. We hope to ask many of the right questions in this course and we hope that the participants will walk away with answers they can demonstrate and see in their students’ and their own learning.

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