by Betsy Hill and Roger Stark
Does everyone have the ability to learn? Of course. Learning is what our brains do. As we interact with the environment, the neurons in our brains make connections. Those connections are strengthened with practice and may be pruned away if they are not used. That is what learning is. Another term for the brain’s ability to learn is neuroplasticity. Our brains are constantly changing; they are constantly learning.
So, what is the difference between learning ability and learning capacity? While everyone has the ability to learn, we don’t all have the same capacity to learn. Some things are easy for a particular person to learn; other things are difficult. Things that are easy for one person to learn may be hard for another. And we may find learning something easier or more difficult at different ages. For example, learning language is trivially easy for most young children, but becomes much more difficult as we age.
While it may seem that we have little control over these differences, our learning capacity is something that can be built to a far greater degree than most of us understand. This is why we distinguish between learning ability and learning capacity.
We have identified 3 Keys to building individual learning capacity.
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