by George A. Boyd ©2003
Education seeks to enhance the learning of students,
and attempts to implement the insights of the models of learning taught
to them. Some of the traditional and non-traditional models advanced for
education are summarized below.
- Neural-Environmental Model of Learning
– Lasting biochemical and cellular changes occur in brain tissue as
a result of exposure to stimuli. Learning can be optimized by environmental,
nutritional and dietary modification. Changes due to aging, exposure
to environmental toxins, lack of adequate nutrition, medical conditions,
and distracting environmental stimuli can disrupt or lower the ability
to learn. Modifying or minimizing these factors leads to improved learning.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Model of Learning
– Rehearsal and regular review reinforces intellectual learning. Behavioral
learning reinforces desired behavior and extinguishes unwanted behavior.
The student may adapt cognitive strategies for enhanced studying, memorizing,
and test taking to improve his or her performance in classes.
- Developmental-Psychodynamic Models of Learning
– The capacity to learn changes over the lifetime as the nervous system
matures, thus learning needs to be structured to accommodate the dominant
learning set of the individual based on age and measurements of their
ability by intelligence and aptitude tests. Unresolved issues in the
student's unconscious mind or difficulties in family and peer relationships
can sabotage the successful acquisition of learning. The ability to
successfully learn may be improved if these issues are addressed and
- Humanistic-Existential Models of Learning
– Reflection upon experiences create meaning and value; those subjects
most meaningful and valuable to the individual engender the strongest
motivation for learning and mastery. Mastery of cognitive knowledge
and behavioral skills an enhanced sense of personal efficacy and self-esteem.
Because of innate factors, one or more of the native forms of intelligence
predominate in an individual. These include spatial, mechanical, or
kinesthetic; mathematical; verbal; analytical/reasoning; emotional,
social, or interpersonal; musical or auditory; and self-knowledge, intuitive
or insightive. The individual shapes career and academic interests from
the areas of predominate intelligence, hence a person with high musical
intelligence will do well in these subjects in school and may be drawn
to a career in this field. Tests can be developed to measure each of
these types of native intelligence. Learning is a lifelong endeavor
and is a central part of personal growth and actualization. People learn
best in an atmosphere of respect and unconditional positive regard:
by genuinely caring about their students, teachers can help students
grow and feel good about themselves.
- Hypnotic-Subconscious Mind Models of Learning
– The subconscious mind is the repository of all learning, and all knowledge
is permanently retained. However, difficulties in encoding information
and retrieving it limit access to this information. Entering a hypnotic
trance, also called an alpha state or super-learning state, allows the
individual to optimally encode new information and previously learned
information. Speed-reading, photographic memory and markedly enhanced
retention can be demonstrated by this means. Hypnosis can also remove
blocks to learning by using post-hypnotic suggestions to overcome a
student's limiting beliefs.
- Superconscious or "Correspondence" Models
of Learning – Intuitive prehension of vast arrays of knowledge can
be accessed through the multi-dimensional Superconscious mind. This
band of the mind utilized by geniuses allows the comprehensive visualization
of a subject from multiple parameters and viewpoints. By accessing this
band of the mind, the entire range of reasoning processes is activated
in the individual: deductive, analogical, inductive, dialectical, mandalic
and synthetic forms of reasoning operate in a focalized way on the topic
of inquiry. This brings highest understanding and insight. Learning
meditation can facilitate egress to this band of the mind.
- Mastermind or Transformational Models of Learning
– In this model, the ability to learn is seen as a function of the spiritual
evolution of the individual. At the highest stages of Initiation, the
full potential of the individual can be realized, and all levels of
the mind become accessible. In these states, the native omniscience
of the Soul becomes fully activated and the illumined mind (Buddhi)
begins to operate at full capacity, resulting in accelerated learning
and the experience of Enlightenment. By unfolding the Soul's potentials
through Initiation, intelligence and mental functioning can be enhanced.
Everyone has the potential to become a Mastermind, but only rare individuals
successfully undergo the transformation and discipline needed to reach
these sublime states.
Elements of models A through D are incorporated
into modern education practices. Those who learn about hypnosis may begin
to utilize elements of model E. Models F and G introduce meditation into
learning and through this means gain access to the Superconscious mind.
Meditation methods can be easily learned and practiced,
but it may take years of meditation to begin to even partially use the
potential described in models F and G.
However, even a single taste of Superconscious
illumination or Samadhic learning, will convince even the most skeptical
that the full potential of the human mind has barely been tapped. Meditation
may play a role in allowing some dedicated and persevering practitioners
to implement some of the elements of models F and G, and bring their innate
genius fully into flower.