The best way to create an important and meaningful memory is to experience some strong emotion. When a fact or an experience means something to us, surely the chance that it will stay with us in our memories, however many years pass, is much greater. This happens because we need to feel in order to learn.
The act of learning generally does not work as a simple act of storing information. When it is like that, we run a great risk of the data being lost and not remembering anything later. The most important thing in this context is that each person makes the information something of his or her own, which makes that data something personal. Thus, accessing that memory later will be much easier.
The challenge lies in creating a good bridge between what we know and what we feel, and in somehow making the things we want to remember to reach our deepest parts. Neuroscience studies on brain areas and the functions they perform state that “only what says something to us, what catches our attention or moves us, what is different and takes us out of the monotony, can be truly learned”.
Feeling for learning: the importance of being the protagonist
Thanks to a great deal of research on the subject being developed lately, education is evolving more and more. Therefore, today it is possible to incorporate innovations and new ways of teaching into what is traditionally done. More and more the aim is to seek dynamism, movement, learning in contact with nature, social contact to develop in classes and learning with new methods, such as music, mindfulness, etc.
Learning becomes an important step to be able to grow, not only from an educational point of view but also in the process of becoming a good person and human being. We need to connect our emotions and discover that the world outside of us is not something that exists by itself objectively, but something that exists only because we give meaning to it.
Living learning, which manages to arouse interest and curiosity, is that which makes us devote time, that makes us seek answers, that makes us need to create new solutions, that poses challenges, that is a stimulus for us to overcome ourselves.
This is the learning that can really give meaning to the time we invest in acquiring knowledge. Only in this way will we give our touch to memories and become protagonists of the process. Therefore, we must feel in order to learn.
Does learning only happen at school?
When we give due importance to feeling, we make sure that learning does not only take place in the classroom. In this way, it expands to all areas of the lives of the learners. Children are not the only ones who can learn; each one of us also needs to reflect on our experiences in order to remember them and then learn from them.
It is possible to learn every day. It is possible to learn every minute if we learn something from every experience. Everything that surrounds us can bring us something if we know how to capture the essence of the situation and make it our own. This reasoning will be our best tool to be able to create something meaningful within us.
Knowing is important, but it should always go hand in hand with feeling. We are not just a brain or just a heart, we are the product of the fusion of both. One needs the other and both support each other to give meaning to our lives.
A study conducted in 2010 by the University of Massachusetts showed that students do not integrate information in the same way when they are treated as mere passive receivers or when they are able to engage and feel emotions. Of course, in the latter case, the information is better integrated.
It is a challenge to make someone learn something; we have to transmit the information in such a way that it captures the other person’s attention. We have a great challenge when we teach: it is to make the person learn and feel positive emotions, and thus become involved with the subject.