I was searching the internet to find some ideas on the most recent thinking on how habits are learned and unlearned when I ran across a rather dense article “for beginners.”
“Cognitive Load Theory for Beginners” makes some excellent points that seem to echo what we know about developing the skills we normally see at the higher belt levels of 2Time.
The article, by Howard Solomon, is a summary of some of the thinking developed by J. Sweller. Here is a beginner’s summary for ultra-beginners:
Recognizing George Miller’s research showing that short term memory is limited in the number of elements it can contain simultaneously, Sweller builds a theory that treats schemas, or combinations of elements, as the cognitive structures that make up an individual’s knowledge base.
Sweller builds a theory that treats schemas, or combinations of elements, as the cognitive structures that make up an individual’s knowledge base. (Sweller, 1988)
The contents of long term memory are “sophisticated structures that permit us to perceive, think, and solve problems,” rather than a group of rote learned facts. These structures, known as schemas, are what permit us to treat multiple elements as a single element. They are the cognitive structures that make up the knowledge base (Sweller, 1988). Schemas are acquired over a lifetime of learning, and may have other schemas contained within themselves.
It sounds as if “time management” is made up of schemas.
The difference between an expert and a novice is that a novice hasn’t acquired the schemas of an expert. Learning requires a change in the schematic structures of long term memory and is demonstrated by performance that progresses from clumsy, error-prone, slow and difficult to smooth and effortless. The change in performance occurs because as the learner becomes increasingly familiar with the material, the cognitive characteristics associated with the material are altered so that it can be handled more efficiently by working memory.
This seems to make sense to me, as I recall becoming a good student by simply making up my mind at different points to practice as hard as I could. Even now, as a teacher of statistics and research to graduate students, I recommend that students set themselves a certain number of problems to do each week, as a way to practice the ideas they have learned. At first, they are all quite clumsy, but those who are better at engaging in practice learn more quickly.
What I am not sure about is how the idea of “working memory load” fits into ways of learning the 11 fundamentals of 2Time. I think that it’s trying to say that practice should be simple, and free of too much competition or difficulty.