This is how adults learn: Experience wins over theory according to this world expert

The American psychiatrist William Glasser left us a simple tool, where it is possible how experience impacts the learning process.

There is a belief that says that when you are young, you learn faster. However, the theory of William Glasser, a world-renowned American psychiatrist and educational expert, somewhat challenges that statement, since, if done properly, virtually all of us can learn continuously until the last day of our lives. lives.

This is because our brain has an enormous cognitive capacity and flexibility to acquire new knowledge, as long as we work to stimulate and develop it appropriately.

William Glasser left us a simple tool, where it is possible to observe the level of impact that a learning process can have.

According to the author, we learn:

  • 10% of what we read.
  • 20% of what we hear
  • 30% of what we see
  • 50% of what we see and hear.
  • 70% of what we discuss with other people, including asking, paraphrasing, repeating, speaking, listing, reproducing, debating, remembering, exemplifying.
  • 80% of what we do: write, narrate, interpret, express, review, identify, communicate, practice, predict, create, organize, analyze, differentiate, examine, verify, catalog, interrogate.
  • 95% of what we teach other people: share, explain, summarize, draw, classify, structure, illustrate, elaborate, design, test, experiment, use metaphors and analogies.

I suggest those responsible for training take these resources into account.

Thinking about individuals and organizations, here are these five tips to put the learning into practice and obtain better results of more than 70% according to the Glasser scale:

Depending on the type of activity and roles, it is advisable to determine how it is most convenient to start a training program.

It may be that in some cases a more formal structure is required, such as readings and illustrated classes; although in others it may be advisable to practice permanently.

In any case, leaving encyclopedic knowledge (so entrenched in this culture) and transforming it into something eminently experiential will always bring a better result.

From my experience, I suggest that each training contains a minimum part of theory, and is strengthened with practice, all in small sections. Let us remember that the current level of attention in training fluctuates approximately every 3 minutes in face-to-face format, and every 2 minutes in virtual format.

In this way, people incorporate intellectual knowledge, and then experience it with their body, mind and emotions.

For this, teachers, professors, teachers and facilitators need to have the appropriate training to design and implement dynamics that allow this assimilation that goes far beyond remembering data and information.

Not all people carry out processes at the same speed. If you work in groups, it is essential to keep pace with the individual rhythm, while at the same time coupling it with the dynamics of the rest of the people.

A technique that has worked for me is to establish what I call “moments of confluence”, where the flow of the designed content is paused, and experiential sharing is carried out – conversations, games, dynamics, challenges -, where each one shares from their experience, regardless of whether everyone is “at the same pace.”

Stimulating curiosity is essential for new forms of learning. If there are not strong enough motivations in each person, it is likely that they will lose the focus necessary for learning to occur.

I suggest constantly checking how much you are reaching all people, and what the predominant channels are in each one, to know how to deliver the learning designs.

It is necessary to encourage new formats, resources, technology, experiences, uncomfortable conversations that even open the space for the vulnerability of “I don't know” among trainers and trainers. This experience enriches humanity and generates bridges of closeness with people guided in their learning.