17 - How to Form a Chunk - Part 1

دوره: Coursera – Learning How to Learn / درس 17

Coursera – Learning How to Learn

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17 - How to Form a Chunk - Part 1

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In this video, we’re going to give you a little background about how to make a chunk.

If you’re learning to play a difficult song on the guitar,

the neural representation of the song in

your mind can be considered as a rather large chunk.

You would first listen to the song.

Maybe you’d even watch someone else playing the song especially if you

were just a beginner who was learning things like how to hold the guitar.

Getting an initial sense of the pattern you want to master

for yourself is similar for most subjects or skills.

You often have to grasp little bits of songs that become

neural mini chunks which will later join together into larger chunks.

For example, over several days you might learn how

to smoothly play some musical passages on the guitar,

and when you’ve grasped those passages,

you could join them together with other passages that

you’ve gradually putting everything together so you can play the song.

In learning a sport, say basketball, soccer,

golf, you grasp and master various bits and pieces of the skills you need.

You’re creating little neural mini chunks that you can then

gradually knit together into larger neural chunks.

Later, you can knit those larger chunks into

still larger and more complex chunks that you can draw

up in an instant in reaction say to

a slight shift and twist in the soccer ball that’s coming your way.

The best chunks are the ones that are so well ingrained that you don’t even have

to consciously think about connecting the neural pattern together,.

That actually is the point of making complex ideas,

movements or reactions into a single chunk.

You can see this in language learning.

In the beginning, often just saying a single word with the proper nuance,

tone, and accent involves a lot of practice.

Stringing extemporaneous sentences together involves the ability to

creatively mix together various complex mini chunks and chunks in the new language.

To see what I mean, try repeating

the following tongue-twister in the Indian language of Kannada.

Hi, I’m Shilpa Kokeny.

I’m native speaker of Kannada,

which is one of the oldest language spoken in India.

Today, I’m going to share with you a tongue-twister in Kannada.

So, let’s get started.

Not easy, is it?

Unless you’re a native speaker of Kannada,

but the language was learned bit by bit.

Learning in math and science involves the same approach.

When you’re learning new math and science material,

you’re often given sample problems with worked out solutions.

This is because, when you’re first trying to understand how to work a problem,

you have a heavy cognitive load.

So, it helps to start out with a work-through example.

It’s like first listening to a song before trying to play the song yourself.

Most of the details of the worked out solution are right there and

your job is simply to figure out why the steps are taken the way they are.

They can help you see the key features and underlying principles of a problem.

One concern about using worked out examples in math

and science to help you in starting to form chunks,

is that it can be all too easy to focus too much on

why an individual step works and not on the connection between steps.

That is on why this particular step is the next thing you should do.

So, keep in mind that I’m not just talking about a cookie cutter,

just do as you’re told mindless approach when following a worked-out solution.

It’s more like using a roadmap to help you when traveling to a new place.

Pay attention to what’s going on around you when you’re using

the map and soon you’ll find yourself able to get there on your own.

You’ll even be able to figure out new ways of getting there.

Next, we’ll walk you through the actual steps of chunk formation.

I’m Barbara Oakley, thanks for learning how to learn.

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