Happy to learn!


Benazir Shafaat Hussain
Special Educator

“The capacity to learn is the gift, the ability to learn is a skill, the willingness to learn is a choice”.
-Brain Herbert

Learning happens best when it makes you happy, children start learning from the womb of a mother, such beautiful is the whole process and journey of learning!

Learning is an innate and a continuous process. We learn many things; both formally and informally. Informal learning happens naturally and so it is sustained in our memories for longer period. For instance, when we travel, we carry those memories for years to come but one might easily forget what one had learnt years back in school. Almost 90% of learning is informal and it is so strong that it holds into our brain for long years. It happens instantly and in stress-free circumstances. Whereas things learnt formally are sometimes forced and stressful.

Learning through travelling

I strongly believe that stress-free learning happens throughout our lives and in what we tend to do. For example, one of the best moments of learning occurs when one travels. When you start a journey, you learn the directions, different cultures,people,cuisines,flora, fauna,landscapes,people, and their language and so on. One learns to survive in any situation and learns to adapt to the worst situation. Survival of the fittest happens only through the learning experiences. So, one should travel a lot to learn a lot.

Learning during childhood

As child, we learn the most without any hesitation or fear of being judged. We all remember our “abc” and nursery rhymes so well. . . Ever thought why?

Learning happens everywhere informally and formally. It’s just that we need to be open and happy to learn at any point in time. Toddlers and preschool children are the happiest people who learn maximum with extreme sense of happiness. The way a child from kindergarten recites his poem shows the enthusiasm in his learning. They are happy when they recite. Their tone would be high, face filled with expressions,and body would flow with the rhythm. All this can only happen when one learns with happiness. As adults we lack interest and motivation in learning things and due to that, cannot retain what we have learned or get bored easily while learning. The art of learning is best with kids.

Modern way of learning

Over the years, the whole approach of learning has made a shift. Earlier children were taught in gurukuls where the emphasis was on rote learning. Learners listened to what their gurus taught them. Now is a different module where learning takes place differently wherein visual, aural, kinaesthetic and sensory inputs are energised. It has moved to greater heights technology-wise with greater wisdom. Knowledge is transferred mutually and is accessible to every person. Modernity has changed the outlook of learning.

Learning through social media

People learn from social media too. Individuals who use Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms also tend to pick up alot of information from varied sources but the authentication of subject matter is questionable. This is superficial learning that happens only for specific time. This kind of learning is only temporary and the storage of information may decay soon. The arena of social platforms (Facebook, Whatsapp and so on) is highly lucrative but this learning diminishes and fades away from memory. It is a forced learning and burdens your memory and overloads the brain with irrelevant information. It changes your priority and mindset. One tends to become Vagabond in the field of information and technology. The whole idea of learning deviates and becomes merely a source of killing time. This shallow learning is more of a sharing of information; done with a different intent and certain individuals get carried away by the content and get influenced.

Learning through books

Books, as we say, are the best friends of humans and are one of the greatest sources of learning. One can acquire substantial amount of good learning from books. It depends on the readers how one learns and reads the book. I believe that if you read the book with keen interest, you remember it for years and can narrate the incidents in its chronological order too. Books can be amazing source of learning.

Learning through imitating

Great deal of learning happens by imitation. For instance,kids learn from imitation. Though they do it without any understanding but at the bottom of it, a behaviour of learning develops. Kids behave exactly the same way they see their parents behaving. They pick up patterns or styles of their parents and siblings too. All of it is learned by a child. When I smile as a mother, my child reflects back with the same smile and that is the beauty of the art of learning. A child develops into an individual by learning many aspects of life. What matters is the process of his nurture and nature around him.

Learning through cinema

Another interesting form of learning is cinema in today’s world. The amount of information one gets from television and cinema is huge. It is easily accessible and any age group can get the most interesting stuff from this source within no time. Kids can learn a lot as it helps them process any information with ease. The visuals and auditory reflections enhance their learning and help in retaining information for a longer period of time. That is the reason modern schools adopt modern ways of teaching with smartboards, presentations, and videos. Research also suggests that children learn better visually.

Learning without deadlines

The reason why a child’s learning is stress-free, because they are never bothered about the end result or worry about the deadlines. We as adults always carry the fear of losing or worry about imperfections. All these habits only become an impediment in our process of learning and acquiring knowledge or skill. We should learn that it’s “ok” to make mistakes and good to be defeated at times.

We should learn and continue learning for ever. Nurture your hobbies: travel to new places, learn gardening, cooking, stitching, swimming, driving or anything of your interest. This will keep your brain healthy and you will keep rising.

Benazir Shafaat Hussain is a passionate special educator and loves working with children with special needs (Autism and learning Disabilities). Working them them for the last eight years has taught her that each child has an ability to learn, and it is our responsibility, as grown up individuals, to teach each one of them according to their individual needs.

She is an expert in Remedial teaching, Individual education planning, psychological assessments and curriculum development. Before getting into special education, she was working as lecturer of Psychology at Diana Nursing College (Bangalore).

Besides having Masters in Clinical Psychology from Bangalore University, she also did Diploma in Family Counseling, specialization in Family Counseling and certification course in Autism Spectrum disorders from UC Davis University. Currently, she is pursuing her research in Autism to study how we can improve the learning experiences in children with Autism.