It is said that there is no royal road to learning; and while in a sense this is true, it is also true that, in all things, even in mind training, there is a right way and a wrong way–or rather there is one right way, and there are a thousand wrong ways.
You need not expect an essay on psychology or a series of dissertations upon the “faculties of the mind”; for there will be nothing of the kind. On the other hand, I shall, so far as possible, avoid text-book terms and the text-book tone–both of which are quite absurd and quite futile. I shall try to give you bare facts. I shall try to give you plain directions, stripped of all verbal and pseudo-scientific flummery.
The objective in this article is to show you the benefits of diversifying our learning experience. To diversify we would vary our learning tools, teaching methods – and the way we learn.
FIRST of all, before you are able to think at all, you must have something to think about. You must have some mental “stock in trade.” And this mental stock in trade you can gain only through the senses. The appearance of a tree, the roar of the ocean, the odor of a rose, the taste of an orange, the sensation you experience in handling a piece of satin–all these are so much material helping to form your stock of mental images–“the contentof the consciousness,” as the scholastic psychologists call it.
Now, all these millions and millions of facts which make up our mental stock in trade–the material of thought are gained through the senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and so on. Therefore there is tremendous value in Perceptions.
The length and exactness of the sight, the skill and sureness of the hand, the delicacy of the hearing, are of value to artist and artisan alike by the perfection and rapidity of work that they insure. Nothing embarrasses a woman so trained; she is, so to speak, ready for anything. Her cultivated senses have become for her tools of universal use. The more perfect her sensations, the more justness and clearness do her ideas acquire. The education of the senses is the primary form of intellectual education.
The intuitive, concrete form given nowadays to education contributes to the training of the senses by developing attention, observation; but this does not suffice. To perfect the senses and make each of them, in its own perceptions, acquire all possible force and precision, they must be subjected to exercises.
Learning does not need to end nor begin in the classroom. Our senses are profound, engage and exercise them we must. Using educational DVDs, and other technology at our disposal today, gives us the opportunity to diversify our learning experience. By varying our learning tools we create an environment that invigorates our perception.