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Not all learning sticks - here's why

20 December 2019

Why doesn’t anything stick when I do a course or go to training?

Firstly, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Wasted learning is due to three things:

  • Traditional ways of learning, which condition us to think knowing is the same as doing.
  • Finding reasons for not practicing the new skill and failing to learn more about it.
  • Not having the right environment to put your learning into practice. This can include: not having the backing of those around you to implement your new learning.

If you want something to stick:

  • Identify what it is you want to learn, how and why - become aware of what's missing in your skills/knowledge tool box.
  • Build achievable, incremental goals for yourself around using the new skill(s) and/or knowledge.

Practice what you learn.

Education experts say you need to put any new skill or information you learn into practice within the first 24 hours of learning it. You need to keep practicing it and use any glitches and failures to teach you more. It’s also important to explain and teach what you have learned to others. Teaching beds down the learning and broadens the scope of what you have learned.

The final step in the process is reflection.

Think about what you are practicing. What works and what doesn’t and why? Be flexible and adapt until you get the results you’re after.

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