Let me tell you a story.

There were 5 blind men who tried to describe an elephant by touching it. Each only touched a part of the elephant and described that part:

“It’s like a wall”, said the person who felt the flank.

“It’s like a rope”, said the one who felt the tail.

“It’s like a pillar”, said the one who felt a leg.

“It’s like a spear”, said the man who felt a tusk.

“It’s like a fan”, said the one who touched an ear.

Were they wrong?

Each was only partly right. They are not equipped to see the entire elephant. The true description of an elephant includes all these and more. 

The Elephant in the World of Education

In the world of education, there are many schools of thought both on teaching and on learning. Each expert focuses his/her attention on one aspect – neuroscience, cognition and meta-cognition, behavioral psychology, learning style (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, verbal, logical, solitary, social), personality type, and biochemistry. Some focus on memorization and recall techniques, some focus on study habits, some on self-testing practices, some on note taking systems, etc. 

Who is right?

They are all right. However, they also are only partly right. What are they missing? The ability to see the entire picture. They are in a swim lane of their own perspective, and cannot visualize the entire elephant. As it relates to learning, no one method suits every student. It is best to take a holistic approach to building a personal learning process that involves the whole brain (left-brain for analysis, right-brain for creativity, cerebellum for a disciplined approach), all levels of consciousness (conscious, subconscious and unconscious), includes multiple disciplines (biochemistry, neuroscience, psychology, physiology, etc.) and multiple learning factors (learning style, personality type, strengths, aptitude, etc.).

Active Learning

The Super Student System from Turbo Learner is such a holistic approach. It is based on the research of Dr. Indira Rao, an award-winning educator whose “Topic-web Model of Learning” has improved the lives of hundreds of students. Dr. Rao believed that education should be a partnership between the teacher and the student, that the student must actively reach out to grab what the teacher offered rather than passively receive what the teacher threw out. To do so, the student must be prepared to learn. On this basis, Dr. Rao created techniques to help children learn better.

A Consistent, Repeatable Process

The Super Student System embodies my 5-step process:

  1. Identify the student’s learning factors (there are 17 factors)
  2. Select from Dr. Rao’s learning techniques those which fit the student’s learning factors
  3. Integrate the learning techniques into a standard learning process outline
  4. Coach the student in the use of the personal learning process
  5. Optimize the process and accelerate learning

The Turbo Learner method is a framework for acquiring, applying, adapting and augmenting knowledge and skills in a structured and consistent manner.