Adult learning

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School was long ago

What exactly did learning at school involve?

  1. Lessons in class/explanations

  2. Reading text books

  3. Practice in class

  4. Heavy repetition of basic elements e.g. times tables, alphabet, spelling tests

  5. Peer competition

  6. Homework

  7. Revision

  8. Exams

  9. Levels of proficiency

  10. Regular feedback 

Somehow as adults we expect to pick things up easily and skilfully without undertaking the process of learning necessary as a child. Why is this?

Taking responsibility

Adults usually have less time than children/university students to commit to education. There are many intruding responsibilities and concerns; work, family, health etc.
However, learning is learning; you only get out of it what you put into it.

Just do it

Can you reasonably expect to be good at painting if you do not paint? Will your French Cuisine improve if you do not cook at home?
Do you expect to speak fluent Spanish when you do not practice daily?

Natural talent?

A lot of people still believe in the notion of 'natural talent'. According to scientific research detailed in a number of educational psychology books published in the 21st Century, there's no such thing...

Ability begets ability

People who excel, do so because they put in more time and commit to greater practice than other people do. They also receive regular feedback, learn from their mistakes and get better (continuously).
Read Grit, Smarter Faster Better, 5 Elements of Effective Thinking and Peak... Find out for yourself.

You get to choose

School children attend lessons because they have to. They have no choice. Whereas, adults learn because they want to.

Learning is fun

Learning can be immense fun. You will be exposed to an incredible amount of new information, new methods, new considerations. Make the best of it.

Cultivate curiosity

What do you really know about any subject? French cuisine? Tai chi? South East Asian traditional music and dance?


We are all ignorant of something. Accept it. Once you recognise that you know almost nothing about anything, your options are wide open.
You can explore countless subjects for your entire life and still have so much more to learn.

The challenge

There are many, many challenges facing every student. Those that stem from the subject itself are often technical in nature. They require perseverance and patience.

Tips for adults

Our tai chi lessons were designed to help you back into the habit of learning:

  1. Attend classes every week

  2. Regularly read some of the suggested books (for pleasure)

  3. Cultivate the habit of daily home practice

  4. Recognise that discovering new insights and skills can be fun

  5. Acknowledge that you are learning because you want to

The unexpected

The great thing about learning is that it presents you with the opportunity to possess exciting new skills. Skills you never imagined were possible when you began the course of study.
You will travel in unforeseen directions, encounter new opportunities, find new options and make unexpected choices. Learning can affect your entire life.

Learn how to learn

There are a few pages on this website concerning the process of learning:

  1. Brain work (meditation, awareness, metacognition)

  2. Fitness level

  3. How can you tell?

  4. Proof

  5. Physical

  6. The essence of the art

  7. Authenticity

It is worth taking the to time to read them all thoroughly.

Page created 18 April 1995
Last updated 16 June 2023