The Pyramid of Learning.

I initially encountered the concept while reading the book “Learn Like Einstein” at Bangkok Airport while awaiting a flight to Moscat en route to Cairo.

Motivated by the prospect of visiting the actual pyramids, I felt compelled to investigate this idea further.

In a nutshell, there are three main categories of learning:

  1. Input learning
  2. Demonstrators learning
  3. Participatory learning

In terms of retention:

  • You retain 5% of what you hear in a lecture.
  • 10% when you read.
  • 20% from audio processing.
  • 30% from demonstrating
  • 50% from group discussions
  • 75% from practice by doing
  • 90% by teaching others.

The extent to which the above strategies are applicable varies depending on the skill being developed. It is essential to practice judo in order to achieve success; simply reading about it is not enough.

I am passionate about exploring complex topics and issues to both educate myself and others. I typically engage in extensive conversations with multiple people to gain a comprehensive understanding of the subject before writing an essay.

The best learning is when the pyramid is not seen as a menu that you pick from. Instead, view the pyramid as a process that knowledge goes through, and then you gain a deeper understanding as a subject moves from the top of the pyramid to the base.

Of course, this is only applicable to knowledge that is both useful and applicable in your life, as the above can be very time-consuming to do, and it is probably only worth doing for a certain number of subjects at a time.

By definition, learning deeply means concentrating on a subject at the expense of other things.

This fact needs to be understood and accepted. If you keep a long-term view, you will see that if you build a strong foundation of knowledge and understanding, you can then move on to other subjects which interest you but perhaps are not so related to what you’ve studied before. You will be able to grasp core concepts quite quickly.

This is because learning, in itself, needs to be learnt. This is perhaps the foundation which everything else is built upon in a successful life. It is a meta-skill that enables all other skills.

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