New ways to Learn ~ FLSM and Perceptual Thinking Patterns

Have you ever thought about going back to school but remember not feeling like you were really good at being a student? It is common for adults to recall their time in High School without the warm and fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. Often school, and learning, were painful processes, and thinking about going to school again can be daunting or bring up old memories full of fear and inadequacy. Here at Finger Lakes School of Massage, we pride ourselves on individualized education, within the parameters of high standards. We are able to hold these high expectations because we teach our students about HOW they learn.

Did you ever notice that you remember things better when it was told to you in a quiet space? Does sound have an impact on your learning? Can you only study while listening to classical music, or only focus if you tap your pen on the table? We all know that we need certain stimuli to facilitate learning. When we look at individual thinking patterns we are able to identify what works best for us and how to work around the scenarios that are counterproductive. Before you write yourself a story that you are a bad student, first take time to learn about how you learn.

Not only does your mind work in its own way, those patterns may be different from your classmates or your teachers. At massage school we make it a priority to teach to a variety of learning styles and engage students in activities that will help them tap into their own way of taking in information. Our faculty never assume that students take in new information in the same way that they do. They work hard to identify where gaps in learning may be found and fill in those gaps appropriately.

Everyone processes information differently and there are six possible ways that you can understand what you are being taught, regardless of what the content area is. There are three channels that bring the information into your brain, and three types of stimuli for taking in new information.

We can refer to the channels as a conscious channel, subconscious channel and unconscious channel. Everyone has all three.  Through the conscious channel you can pay attention with ease, absorb information quickly, speak clearly and take ownership over verbal, logical, organized explanation. The conscious channel is also the place of short-term memory. The subconscious channel is where you try to sort information and put concepts together. You are aware of the difference between new information coming in from the outside and your own inner framework. The unconscious channel is where you are relaxed and creative. There is relatively no stress or fear in this channel. Long-term memories are made in this channel.

In order to learn effectively, you need to use all three channels. However, in order to move through all the channels, there needs to be an open door. That open door is one of three different stimuli which trigger the channel opening. Kinesthetic stimuli is movement and body awareness in learning. Visual stimuli are pictures and graphs, written words and charts. Auditory stimuli is sound, creating songs and listening to a lecture might be examples. The trick is to find out what stimuli matches up with a particular channel, then using the combination of stimuli and channels you can make new information deposit into long-term memory.

Knowing that there are all these ways to tap into learning opens up a way to look at school and education as a new experience. I would argue that the way in which students are taught to learn at FLSM is just as important as what they learn here. Knowing one’s own self is perhaps one of the most vital life lessons. If this piques your interest look up information on Perceptual Thinking Patterns and reframe the way that you think about school communities and learning. Support and understanding, compassion, and assuming the best, are the ways that we help students feel good about learning.