Simply Learning - Ann Grindrod

... developing people differently

Why brain-friendly learning?

Consider, for a moment, when you have learned best in your life, when you have been able to absorb information effectively, then go and apply it. Perhaps you have developed a new skill, understood a complex process, effortlessly passed an exam?

Now reflect on the environment you were in. What enabled you to learn successfully?

You may have suggested any of the ideas below:

… high energy activity … feeling relaxed … curious … able to make mistakes without comebacks … clear about my outcome … it was colourful … I saw, heard, and felt the learning … it appealed to how I learn best … I was in the right mood … it was delivered in workable chunks … the learning was fun … I played with ideas and things… learning with others was important … there was time for me to reflect … I was able to move around … the environment was light, airy, visually appealing … evocative music was playing in the background.

And how many of you said “I was sitting on a plastic chair, leaning on a hard table, making lots of notes, in a cold / stuffy room, whilst the learning facilitator talked for an hour?”

… we guess not many of you!

By blending all the above ideas, and more, brain-based or brain-friendly learning encourages the creation of personal meaning from all forms of learning, not simply the consumption of the facilitator’s knowledge.

Use of brain-friendly methods awakens learners to their full potential, making learning enjoyable and fulfilling, which in turn develops intelligence, increases confidence, improves competence, and delivers personal and workplace success.

The demonstrable results of learning the brain-friendly way include:

  • Speeds the process of learning design.
  • Inspires creativity and innovation in facilitators and learners alike.
  • Gets learners totally involved in the learning by appealing to diverse learning styles.
  • Engages the senses, multiple intelligences, and memory triggers of all learners.
  • Reduces time spent on learning delivery and/or enables learning at a deeper level.
  • Significantly boosts learning retention and transfer of learning.
  • Enhances personal achievement, staff retention, and business performance.
  • Vastly improves learning in 'hard' areas incl. languages, practical skills, technology.
  • Delivers all learning in a meaningful context through a continual process of ‘real-world’ immersion, feedback, reflection, evaluation, and re-immersion.

However, there is no single definition of brain-friendly learning!

At Simply Learning, we use a learner-centred mix drawn from the best of traditional and leading-edge learning and communication theories including:

  • Accelerated learning.
  • Transactional analysis.
  • Neuro-linguistic programming.
  • Systems thinking.
  • Person-centred counselling.
  • Educational kinesiology.
  • Action and experiential learning.
  • Creative thinking.
  • Emotional intelligence.

All under-pinned by ongoing brain-based research!

The combination of all the above produces for the learner an experience which, in the words of some of our recent learners, is:

"challenging clear constructive cool

educational engaging enlightening energetic

interactive insightful innovative inspirational

upbeat unusual useable universal"
(for more quotes, click on What our learners say).

In developing our methods, we have been influenced by the work of many leading learning and communication specialists. We are indebted to the following who have provided inspiration in many ways:

… Richard Bandler … Eric Berne … Michael Breen … Tony Buzan … Marva Collins … Edward de Bono … Robert Dilts … Howard Gardner … John Grinder … Thomas Harris … Eric Jensen … Georgi Lozanov … Dave Meier … Malcolm Nicholls … Colin Rose … Roger Sperry … Anne Thornley-Brown … Jeanette Vos … Win Wenger.

To find out more about the methods we use, and the work of some of the above, click on Links, which will connect you to a range of websites.

"The course was well presented with quality handouts and practical sessions integrated with the theory."

"The trainer ensured participation from all on the course, which made everyone more relaxed, and feeling part of the course. Excellent – recommended to others."

"The more I practise, the more positive the outcome has been."

"I have been able to see, hear, feel, and practise what I have learnt so far. This has made it interesting."

"Very enjoyable, lots of colour, and we got to work outside. What more can you ask for?"

"Patience was very good and I was surprised how she was able to involve all participants with her enthusiasm. Other courses I have attended have been more lecture style."