Concentration - Learning Rates


         A feature of team sports like rugby is that players wear chips on the back of their jerseys so their coaches can monitor the amount of running and effort players exerts so the player can be  substitute when they are burnt out.  A feature of tennis is that a superior player will make the player the other side of the net run around more until they start making mistakes and the he, she will start to lose the game.

         Eichman neuro-scientist referred to a boy who was the world champion cup stacker. He could create a pyramid of plastic cups in seconds. When his brainwaves were examined there was low activity. Automated skills require less effort.

           Concert pianist practice around four to five hours a day. They will probably devote as much mental effort when performing a prepared piece of music in a concert as a novice would exert attempting to play Twinkle Twinkle Star. 
         Working memory alone dictates that any given level of learning with not only be harder for children to achieve than other, but it will it will require more mental effort.  Research suggests that those with low working memory are less attentive.  Hard work is not enjoyable.

      Children's education has been increasingly devoted to trying to squeeze every ounce of out of their perceived learning potential. The extreme is to be found in the Far East where children are learning up to 14 hours hours a day. In South Korea they had to put a curfew to closed their night classes At 10 o'clock at night. There is  issue of whether this has intrinsic learning value.

       A Times Education article by Jared Cooney Howarth educationalist neuro-scientist considers why standard school lessons tends to be around hour. His explanation of children learning capacity resemble sport. Active conscious learning will develop into automaticity once learnt. A child who learners about fractions and develop sufficient understanding to applying them, will use less brain power when engaging when they apply them. They will use 25% less energy applying them.

       Learning is costly. When learners attempt to learn something the price goes up. It is the equivalent to attempting to run faster in sport. Learning is a process of cognitive growth. The brain is fueled by chemicals. If they become depleted, then the brain becomes tired. 

       As the learning potential of learners is not equal, then some learners will need to work harder to learn something more than others. When children are required to learn in a language that is not their most fluent one, then they will need to work harder to learn than native speakers. They will tire more easily.


       Horvath claims that if children engage in deep learning in the morning, then they will be less inclined to learn effectively in the afternoon. This is a problem when adults take night classes. Their batteries can be flat after a demanding days work before they attend them.

          This serious questions the value of the inhumane hours children spend learning in the Far East often up to 14 hours a day. The fact that children read something does not mean they understand something. The fact that attempt or even succeed in learning something, it does not necessarily mean they will retain it. What is not be given attention in the school system is the overall learning load  of individual lessons and lessons as whole such as a day, week or school year.

        The quantity of learning does not and will never equal the quality of learning. In second language learning it is recognised that if learners attempt to too much superficially, they will suffer interference. This reflects that language words and grammar are interrelated, they refer to different sounds and letters arrangements, but can relate to distinct elements of what is learnt across the curriculum.