Tuesday, 12 April 2011

IQ on learning

One of the hallmarks of Inuit Qaujimaningit (IQ or Inuit Knowledge) is the assumption that every human being has a natural capacity to reason and feel, but that this capacity can, and has to be, cultivated. There a certain way of learning that observes, then makes "hypotheses" before trying out what one has observed. After trying something out, one then thinks about and refines one's hypothesis.

This is a powerful principle. And can be as abstract or concrete as one wishes. Observation (of something being done or explained) is important so exposure* is important; from there, one talks or thinks about what one has seen or thought just happened; then, a statement or expectation is formed and tried out.

*what I mean by "exposure" is to personally witness something or to have read up on the subject enough to be able to "see" what's happening.

This is how I learn. I've been able to apply this learning principle to everything from learning music to mathematics and physics to creating something by hand. I don't want to just learn how to play a song, I want to learn how music is structured; I love the succinct clarity of thought in thinking about maths that can be attained through one's own efforts(!); to exercise the ability to create and recreate something with one's hands - all of these build confidence and a more realistic knowledge of one's abilities and limitations.

The learning scheme is one of problem-solving: The first step is to learn how to state a problem properly. The second step is to talk (internally or with someone) about the problem to form hypotheses. The third step is to try out one's hand. The last step is to revisit the problem and refine hypotheses. This is looking at things structurally and in terms of how those things relate.

Some things may take years to constellate but every "aha" moment is mystical no matter how small and insignificant the insight. I get so caught up in thought and reverie sometimes that while walking down a street I can't see three feet in front of me.

Jay

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