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Constraint-Induced Learning
2012.12.01 22:45:00

There's a new education theory out there that I've been reading about:  constraint-induced learning (CI).  It basically suggests that your brain learns much quicker when it is NOT able to use its normal pathways for long periods of time.

But language students know this already, as the research points out, because immersion in a foreign language environment is just that.  For long periods of time (all day for a week or more) you can't use your normal pathway (your native tongue) and you have to use the new pathway (the foreign language) or else you will not be able to function.

And anyone who has been through immersion knows how quickly you learn in such a sink-or-swim environment.

The question that poses for me is:  why don't we use that for all learning?  There must be a way that schools can restructure their efforts so that instead of the standard "one hour a week" of this or that subject, you can get immersed in it for a decent period, and get better results.

I'd love to hear if anyone has used this method in a normal school setting!