Learning from Fresh Learners

New Learners Vs. Experienced People

Sometimes it is better to learn something from someone who is himself a new learner of that thing rather than to learn it from someone who is highly experienced in it. The reasoning behind this is that the highly experienced person might have reached the level of carrying out the skill without consciously thinking about how he actually carries it out. A new learner of the skill however would still be performing it while being totally conscious of how he is doing it.

Driving Question

I remember during the time when I was first learning how to drive I was once sitting with my uncle and my cousin. My uncle had been driving for years and was a highly experienced driver. My cousin, on the other hand, was a novice driver who had just learnt driving recently. I had some question about a common maneuver in driving which I can’t recall right now. Instead of asking my experienced uncle about it I asked my cousin how it was done. My uncle was surprised that I was not directing my question about driving to him and was instead asking my cousin who was still a novice driver and had just learnt driving recently.

I believe my uncle even got a bit offended by that. He was unaware that the reason behind my skipping him and asking my less experienced cousin was due to the fact that my cousin is a fresh learner of driving and would thus be able to remember and be fully aware of how such a common maneuver is done step by step. A new learner of a skill might also be carrying it out in an easier way than an experienced person. Learning the easy way from a new learner could also be better than starting by attempting to carry out such skill by following a more complex or difficult method that would require a higher skill level.

Language Learning

Another example I remember was an Indonesian guy who came to Egypt and was trying to learn Arabic words. Instead of learning from adults he set about learning from children. Children were better able to explain to him the meaning of words in a simple and straightforward manner.

Learning from Peers

When learning a new skill it is totally OK to attempt to learn some of its basics from someone who has just been learning it so that he could be fully aware of how things are done in an easy way and could be able to explain them in a clear manner. This gives us a clue into why learning from peers can give great results.

Has there been anything you have attempted to learn from fresh learners of that thing? What was it? How did you go about learning it?


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