A FAMILY of YOUNG SOULS, what we have in common
The Universals of How People Learn
by Dr. Pam Blosser
What must happen first before any learning can take place between a teacher and student, a parent or a child, is for both to give. What is given is something so simple it is often taken for granted. It is attention. The teacher must give attention to the student to be aware of what the student needs. The teacher connects his or her perception of what the student needs, to information, experience or wisdom that he or she possesses that can fulfil the student's needs. For example, one who would be a teacher would notice a ten-year-old child mixing mud and food together and recognize this play as a desire to learn to cook. Brownies or a cake might be in order. Children want to learn even though they might not always know what it is.
The student must give his or her attention to the teacher. Giving attention means looking at the teacher. It means quieting the body and clearing the mind, removing any distractions that would be a hindrance to being able to see and hear what the teacher is offering. Giving attention also means trusting that what the teacher is giving is worthy of being received and acted upon. When the body is quiet and the mind still, when attention is given, then the student is ready to receive.
You give your attention through the five senses. You connect with the world around you through your five senses. Each experience you have can be felt, heard, smelled, tasted, and seen. The sensory impressions are stored in your brain as memory.
From the moment you are born you begin to experience and learn from your experiences. To an infant, it's very important to have all kinds of sensory experiences to bring the attention all the way out into the physical, whether it's colors, textures, or sounds. All this stimuli bring the attention to the physical which is where the infant needs to be. As the infant has experiences she stores the information gathered in the brain. She cries and her mother picks her up and feeds her. As she is being fed she experiences her mother's touch and what her mother feels like and smells like. Through her mother's milk she identifies a taste that is associated with her mother. When her mother speaks or sings to her she learns what her voice sounds like. When her daddy picks her up she begins to learn who he is by his touch, smell and sound. This is a different experience so she learns the difference between her mother and daddy.
A name is given to identify the experience. This is for the purpose of ordering and connecting the experiences together. It also adds to our ability to communicate so we can describe our experiences to each other. Anytime you tell a story, teach someone how to do something, or talk about an experience you had, you describe it by what it looks like, feels like, sounds like, tastes like, or smells like. This is language. The infant names her experience of mother and father by sounding "da" or "ma". These experiences feed the child more than the food, water and shelter that is provided for her. They feed her mind and her soul giving her a reason for living.
Dr. Pam Blosser serves as President of the School of Metaphysics and is the director of Camp Niangua, the School of Metaphysics' eight day camp for youth.
©2002 School of Metaphysics