I struggled to grasp social sciences and math information throughout High school. Even though I was in college preparation classes, I was still disengaged with the learning process. As a child, I did not feel I could succeed. Moreover, back in elementary, I was "held back" from the 5th-grade level- which brought about anxiety, insecurity, and fear of schooling. It seemed the majority of my teachers were impatient with my learning style. When I had difficulties grasping concepts within math and other subject matters, my teachers would always compare me to my older siblings. My brothers and sisters were naturally talented learners. They were the kind of learners who were intelligent, popular, and athletic. Being reared in a small community and the youngest of five, I was always in their shadows. Always constantly scrutinizing my learning, I was never bright or comfortable enough with my instructors or the classroom. Within high school math courses, my anxiety increased. Those traumatic experiences shaped me as an adult learner.
However, approximately 17 years ago, I became a volunteer, and I was able to tutor 5th-grade students. Much to my dismay, I began to tutor math students. Initially, when I signed up for this position, I focused on reading; however, I was assigned 5th-grade math. Although it was elementary math, that fear experienced throughout my younger years was again present. "Students who, through classical conditioning, have acquired math anxiety may avoid math classes indefinitely, even after they've developed the cognitive maturity necessary for comprehending previously troublesome concepts" (Ormrod, 2008, p. 74). Yes, years have passed, and I'm a stronger learner. And now, as I map my path in the consultancy world, that fear is no longer present.
This is my story; however, how many learners with concerns about grasping information followed down this same road? Fortunately, I acquired the resources necessary to aid in my professional growth. Unfortunately, what about older learners who are resistant to technology?
As an HR Technology Solutions, Digital Literacy, and Digital transformation consultant, it is my privilege to continue on my learning path because I know the more I learn and utilize my craft in creating cognitive design within learning development, I will be able to tailor digital transformation learning & development initiatives using cognitive psychology insights that ensure environments that are practical and resonate deeply with end-users—creating a sense of empowerment.
Ormrod, J. E. (2008) Human Learning. (5th ED.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Practice Hall