Towards slow and deep learning

Educational acceleration

Have you heard of learning designed as quick little bites to swallow? Audios, videos or interactive capsules that nestle in the slightest dead time (long waits at a checkout, interlude between two appointments, meeting that starts late, etc.) between 20 seconds and 5 minutes maximum? To better relate to fast food, the Anglo-Saxon expressions of ” Nugget learning ” Where ” Fast Learning are used. When we know the health risks of this type of diet, the metaphor is cause for concern.

To capture attention and stop boredom, it is a question of quickly retaining essential or new information to carry out the missions entrusted to employees. These types of learning aimed at adapting to the workplace do not open up to the broad horizons of life in because they focus on a reduced scope and on immediate efficiency. Worse still, they contribute to the machinization of the unbridled consumer of human data. This unfortunate human is still compulsively compelled to look for the missing information at the turn of the slightest sentence to the word, to the character or to the unknown date on his smartphone. A sign that the brain chip connecting our brain to databases and networks will be quickly adopted. the neuralink project has a bright future ahead of it.

At stake is nothing less than the success of the first neural implant that will control a computer or mobile device. “The principle is the wiring of micron-thick wires that will be inserted into areas of the brain that control movement. Each wire contains many electrodes and connects them to an implant, the Link”. (Neuralink)

What more could you want than access to all of humanity’s information at the speed of thought, and control of a computer without a manual interface? How will the performance-hungry human resist this promise of omniscience which was the prerogative of the gods?

Yet in 2009, already Alexandre Roberge wondered “Do small bites make a meal? » As untimely nibbling does not risk infobesity? Lack of knowledge?

Acceleration remains one of the phenomena of our society. Hartmut Rosa distinguishes three types of accelerations : that of individual experience, technical acceleration and that of social change. For him, this change would be the cause of an increasing incapacity of skills, experiences and expectations and, consequently, of the growing inability to foresee the future or even to project oneself into it.

Slow down to start from oneself and from the environment

When it comes to learning, slowness is often associated with a problem. Study programs are calibrated for given durations. Beyond the allotted time, our cognitive abilities are called into question. The tests I passed before my military service were based on speed but not on my patriotic feeling or my desire for commitment. What were they predicting?

Yet we know that knowledge is built by several paths and that time is a variable whose intensity changes according to the periods of life. Like a seed, sometimes the progression is dazzling, sometimes, on the contrary, the learning takes time to arise in oneself. Would slow, massive informal learning continue to be neglected?

What if slow learning were conscious learning that would at the same time lead us to understand the implications of what we learn about the environment as well as the direction of our desire to learn. In the same way that we practice mindful meditation, we can practice mindful learning. To specifically observe what the learning in progress produces on our desires, our beliefs, our desires, our potentialities would bring a surplus of anchoring. If learning and living are synonymous, observing oneself learning is observing oneself living.

A learning in consciousness would consist in better welcoming what an experience produces on its emerging orientations. To link emerging knowledge with life goals; to feel more alive.

What would be the conditions for conscious learning?

Rosa Harmut tells us 3 accelerations here are some ways to slow down at the level of individual learning:

  • Contemplating and setting aside short meditation times alternating with learning times;
  • Questioning oneself on what learning transforms in connection with one’s environment, deeply feeling what moves in one’s body, establishing links with the world;
  • Share your observations with others on your implicit, subtle cues that give value to an experience;
  • Write about what is changing. Writing forces you to go more slowly to form a sentence to elaborate the thought of the moment;
  • Leave an artistic and symbolic trace of what is happening in oneself and with the world;
  • Take the time to build the most powerful questions for your life. Exchange them with others. Savor their silence, listen to their rebound;

The benefits of slow, integrated and deep learning

At school, when I was young, I asked why do I have to learn all this? I was told “get your diploma first, you will understand later what all this will be for you”. And if learning in conscience was a surplus of meaning and desire to cultivate when you learn, rather than a hoarding of knowledge to be spent later? Moreover, is this vision of a capital of knowledge still absolute when the mass of knowledge evolves so rapidly? Hasn’t the “you’ll understand later” become a false promise?

Slow learning consists of removing an element of the usual pedagogical paradigm that exists in the idea of ​​a constrained or limited time frame for learning. Slow learning is lost little in agitation, creative method, warm-up games or creation of energy and group.

These practices often touch the surface of the issues and barely touch the depth of the world. They flatter our brains and our needs to satisfy it through the dopamine dump of that feeling of speed. We are electrified and all excited. But it doesn’t last. The effect falls. Adrenaline and all activated brain hormones dissipate. We may have anchored notions or questions during the game of playful practice exercise, but has our context really changed?

“Slow learning” implies on the contrary to explore the world at one’s own pace, taking pleasure in it; by asking questions and understanding the experiences we encounter and those we create. Let’s put the technology and the pressure to do just right away aside to taste the precision and the joy of the link with our environment.


Learn in freedom

Cornak The Nugget Learning what is it?

Hartmut Rosa: Philosophy magazine

fast learner

Thot course – Do small bites make a meal – Alexandre Roberge

Europe 1 What is accelerationism the movement of ultra-right activists

Wendy Priesnitz “Slow Learning” Published in “Natural Life Magazine, September/October 2011”

Wikipedia accelerationism


Thot curriculum – Denis Cristol – Slow down to learn.

Our thoughts. Slow learning learning variety anomaly/

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Towards slow and deep learning

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