Causes Of Slow Learning: Learning activities can occur at anywhere, both formal and informal. Learning can also be conscious or subconscious; and in fact, both factors are the basic ways through which learning can be achieved. In every learning environment, it is common to encounter people who are slow learners. As a matter of fact, every individual learn at a different pace. Thus, the cognitive process of everyone cannot be on the same range. On the other hand, learning process can be influenced by a lot of factors, both determinable and undeterminable ones.
What works for one may not work for the other. This is not with prejudice to the general principles of learning. It is usually best when one discovers the factors that are most suitable for him against those that are not. This will help the person to have an increased learning pace. Notwithstanding the individual peculiarities, learning is generally an intentional process.
One can still put in all the efforts and observe all that is needful for a better learning process; yet, the person’s learning speed remains slow. This is a very uninteresting and frustrating situation which nobody wishes for. But the good news is that being aware of the factors that may contribute to slow learning pace would go a long way in playing the right attitude towards those factors, both proactively and otherwise.
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Factors that Causes Slow Learning
The following are factors that contribute to slow learning:
1. Peculiar learning method: As earlier noted, individuals can be different in all ramifications. This factor of individual differences also may feature in a person’s learning speed. Certain methods of learning are most suitable for certain individuals, and when any other method other than that is used in the teaching process, such individual’s learning speed may be affected.
Here, it is best for individuals to have studied themselves in order to know what exactly works for them. By so doing, they can streamline and attribute their learning speed to an identifiable factor. Indentifying a peculiar learning method as a factor will help the individual in making necessary adjustments.
2. Emotional factors: Emotional factors significantly contribute to one’s learning speed. Emotional factors are usually short-term factors, although it can take a long-tem form if the cause is not resolved. Emotional factors could be distress, anxiety, stress, depression, and the host of others. These can be caused by series of events which one has been, or is being faced with in life. Emotional factors have impact on one’s cognitive process, hence the direct impact on the learning speed.
There is therefore need for learning individuals to engage in stress-relieving activities, and be in charge of their mental health. Learning is a serious mental exercise, and it is best had in a relaxed atmosphere, both physical atmosphere and that of the mind. When this is not present, learning, one would have to put extra mind effort than ordinarily required in order to be able to read and internalize.
3. Absence of motivation: Motivation is an important factor that contributes to one’s learning speed. Learning must be spontaneous in order to encounter the best of the process. Motivation is a psychological factor. It simply means conditions or events which constitute incentives or reasons for performing an act. Motivation can be internal or external. While external motivation plays a very effective role in the learning speed, internal motivation does it the most. Internal motivation is such that comes from within, as opposed to external motivation which comes from surrounding circumstances.
Thus, for an internal motivation, the individual in all willingness and spontaneity is enthusiastic about learning. So, he sets his mind on the goal and keeps learning. For external motivation, the individual is reliant on surrounding incentives; so, he is encouraged by those incentives to commit his mind to learning. Where there is no motivation, learning becomes difficult. Putting it in a simpler term, a person who is not interested in learning a subject or thing will find it more difficult to learn when he is conditioned to.
4. The learning environment: Environmental factors also play a vital role in the leaning speed of individuals. A relaxed atmosphere tends to yield better results in the learning speed of individuals. The atmosphere may relate to the physical environment and the mental state which the individuals have been conditioned to.
Students will have to put more unwarranted effort to learn in a tensed environment. Physical factors in an environment may include noise, lack of social amenities necessary for learning, and the host of others.
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5. Lack of Existing Knowledge: People who have residual knowledge of the subject being taught are already grounded on the basics. In essence, they have an idea of the subject matter, and it would be easier for them to relate to the teaching that it would for individuals who have no initial knowledge.
Thus, this too is a factor that may affect the learning speed of an individual. Individuals who do not have existing knowledge or idea of the subject matter would need some time in order to be well grounded or at least familiar with the basics.
6. Unskilled teachers: The students are wholly dependent on the information given to them by the teachers, and they are usually disposed to taking them hook, line and sinker. This goes to show the degree of trust which students have on the teachers. Thus, teachers are placed on an exalted position and as such, only the skilled ones should be recruited.
The teaching methods of the teachers play an instructive role in the learning speed of the students. Teaching is a skill. It is one thing to know and understand the subject, but imparting the knowledge is another thing. When the teachers are unskilled therefore, the learning speed of the students would definitely be slowed down.
7. Physical health: Physical health of individuals contributes to their learning speed. Learning is a serious exercise and as such needs strength. This strength may not be available to a person who is physically ill. Some medications can also affect the cognitive process, thereby impeding the learning speed of an individual.
8. Lack of attention: Learning demands the suspension of one’s distractions and the submission of one’s attention. The submission of attention could be partial or intensive, since individuals’ cognitive process function at different pace.
One who does not pay attention has little or no business with learning. Paying attention is not just in the learning environment such as classrooms, but also during times of personal readings. To learn is to pay attention.
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9. Diversity of interests: This must be distinguished from the factor of motivation. Interests of individuals differ. This is why people may find a certain subject easier than the other, and vice versa. It does not entail that the person is necessarily slow at learning generally.
It could just be the factor of diverse interest playing out. In such cases, the individual learns faster in certain other subjects but slower in some.
10. Lack of discipline and effective time management: Generally, learning demands discipline. One who is not disciplined will have to pay for that by earning himself a slow learning process. There is need for effective time management, and being disciplined enough to pay attention, and designate adequate time to learning.
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The mastery of the possible factors that may impede one’s learning speed is necessary. One must not wait to start experiencing such difficulties before starting to look out for solutions. It is always best to be proactive, look out for what works best for you, and maximize the best of it.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.