As we grow older the way we learn dramatically changes. As a child we were the proverbial open bowl where everything from our environment was pouring in. Initially our learning was fast and the retention excellent.
Over time this open bowl learning disappears and our learning has become more like a pinched vase: controlled, structured, standardized, and verbal. Learning becomes a one-thing-at-a-time trickle and retention greatly reduced.
The combination of pinched vase learning and traditional no pain – no gain training approach leads to even worse learning results. Within companies we typically refer to this as: death-by-powerpoint. The retention rate of these lecture type sessions after two weeks is 5%… (With accelerated learning this can go up to 90%.)
Accelerated learning provides a two-fold solution: opening up the learner and spicing up the learning.
- First, the learner will prepare for optimal learning. The forthcoming learning experience is connected to positive feelings, clear and meaningful goals, high levels of curiosity, and full involvement.
- Next, the material is presented to create an interesting, relevant, multisensory and fun learning encounter. This encounter is focused on discovery and includes all learning styles.
- Subsequently, the learners will integrate and incorporate the new knowledge or skill through practice. All kinds of exercises are used such as: simulations, games, dialog, collaborative teaching and individual reflection and articulation.
- Finally, no accelerated learning experience is complete without a clear anchoring of the new knowledge or skill in the day-to-day job: a clear context to perform. Ultimately, the “proof” of learning is in improved performance!
The main instigator of Accelerated Learning is the Bulgarian medical doctor and psychotherapist Dr. Giorgi Lozanov (1926 – 2012). In the early 1950s he developed Suggestology (defined as the scientific study of suggestion) and Suggestopedia (defined as the application of suggestion to teaching and learning). Much of Dr. Lozanov’s research data was lost and as such remains unpublished (more info).
In the USA, the name of Suggestopedia was changed into Accelerated Learning. Discoveries in the field of Neuroscience and research in Learning Styles, Multiple Intelligences, Adult Learning Theories, and Psychology enriched the teaching/learning process.
Lozanov, Georgi (1978). Suggestology and Outlines of Suggestopedia. New York: Gordon & Breach.
Bobbi DePorter, Mark Reardon, and Sarah Singer-Nouri. 1998. Quantum Teaching: Orchestrating Student Success. Pearson Custom Publishing.
Dave Meier (2000). The Accelerated Learning Handbook: A Creative Guide to Designing and Delivering Faster, More Effective Training Programs. McGraw-Hill Professional.