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Do We Have a Fear of Adult Learning?
Vocational learning, especially apprenticeships are a great way to learn new skills and give context to existing skills and experience when we’ve been in work for a number of years, but how do we cope with the embarrassment borne from the feeling that we should have done this when we were younger?
We all learn to work within our existing abilities, often adapting to avoid being found out for our poor spelling or fear of fractions, and when faced with a situation that may lead to being found out we act in uncharacteristic ways due to this embarrassment.
We are always learning, and the understandings of new things we learn are processed differently, dependent on our current knowledge and experience, and we often absorb information subconsciously.
How then do we break down the resistance to formal learning when, in a large proportion of cases, we’ve never openly spoken about our need to learn?
I often meet people undertaking vocational courses, involving Maths, English and ICT who feel comfortable learning new practical skills but become anxious at the thought of having to undertake what they perceive as being traditional academic subjects.
There’s no doubt the Maths, English and ICT are important in our lives and it’s often surprising to people undertaking a course just how much they do know when these subjects are applied to their work and daily lives.
I often procrastinate when a task involves learning something outside my comfort zone but it feels great when I overcome the nerves and successfully learn a new process, expanding my skills.
Regardless of our starting point, fear of learning is something we all face, but the apprehension of feeling or our perception of appearing to be less than others mustn’t stop us from taking that next step.
Learning is a lifelong pursuit, either consciously or otherwise and there’s no doubt that we all get a buzz from that next level of achievement.
Go on, give it a try. Take that next step and learn something new!