When you look at an iceberg, you only see 10% of the iceberg. Wow- that means that 90% of an iceberg is underwater! This is why we say it is the “tip of the iceberg” when confronted with a problem that is only part of a bigger problem.
What is below the water sinks a ship - the famous story of the titanic illustrates this well. This ship was said to be unsinkable! On the night of April 14, 1912 as the Titanic sailed across the North Atlantic five iceberg warning were given. Early the next morning, a sixth warning was received, which was ignored. 30 min later the unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg and started sinking with great loss of life. They thought a small iceberg could not sink them, but forgot about what is beneath the surface.
So what has this got to so with successful learning.
So much of what affects us is not visible. We focus on what we see and do not spend time thinking about what is beneath the surface. Being successful at learning is affected by what is beneath the surface of your learning. We never really think about this but what is below the water can sink your learning just like an iceberg can sink a ship.
Take a moment and think about what is beneath the surface:
1. Words. How have words spoken over you affected how you see your self with regard to learning? Have you ever been called stupid or clever; has a parent or teacher spoken negative or positive words about how you learn; have you labeled yourself a certain way eg I can’t do Maths?
2. Attitudes of family and school – Think about how you grew up and the environment around you. Were people positive about learning, seeking to discover new things or was there a negative culture of just accepting that things can never change.
3. Mindset. Have you got a growth mindset or a fixed one about learning? Until recently it was thought that the brain was fixed, but we have learnt that the brain constantly can adapt and make new connections through our lifetimes. Your view on this can determine if you will try new things or just accept the way things are.
These three areas are just a few ideas to start thinking about to see how we think affects our learning. The great news is that change is possible – we can start making new patterns in our brains to see ourselves as successful learners. Make a start today!