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Deferred Learning


There is a concept known as deferred learning. Deferred learning is a strategy to do as little work today as is needed, to get you to tomorrow. This concept comes with the belief that when you need to know something you will be able to learn at the time you need it. This could be called Just-In-Time learning.

It is a fantastic way to lower the amount of work needed up front to achieve a goal. However I do not believe it works. Deferred learning, is late learning, in fact it should be called last minute learning. When things get left to the last minute, they rarely work out well. What deferred learning does do is attract the interest of people who are not motivated to commit energy to learning.

Digest and Absorb

New input to a system requires time, to be digested and absorbed, in order to be valuable. When you first learn something, it takes time for the information to be collated with the existing information already known. The last word, known, is important here. Information that is known is information that has already been learned, digested, absorbed, and become available as a given to the person that knows something. New information can change, sometimes in subtle ways, the pre-existing known information. At the bare minimum the new information adds to the known information. Often new information will change the known information, especially as the brain makes new connections between ideas, concepts, techniques, and skills.

Deferred Problem Solving

Deferred learning is deferred problem solving. To solve a problem, existing knowledge of the domain, and experience over time makes the biggest difference. Knowledge that is freshly obtained, as the problem arises, will not have been contextualized in the domain being addressed. While each scenario is likely to be different, the knowledge gained from reading about, and experiencing, previous similar scenarios enables better troubleshooting and problem solving. Once knowledge is deeply engrained within a person, they can do, without thinking.

Do not be starving

A person starving to death cannot become well nourished by eating at the last minute before they feint. The body will often reject a large meal if the person has not eaten for a long time. I see the same challenge with new knowledge. It is no surprise that if a culture attempts to live in a fantasy that they can thrive by learning what they need at the last minute, that culture also struggles to accept new information, or new knowledge. Learning is a skill. The more you learn, the more you can learn. The brain can be trained to accept new information more readily, by constantly adding more information, and more facts. People that read more, will read more. Sounds obvious, however it is not. If you know someone that does not read much (or at all) and give them a large book to read, it will take them a long time to get through it, or often they will give up. If you give the same book to someone who reads several books at a time, and many books per month, they will race through the book. The ability of the constant reader to absorb new information is increased by the fact they are constantly absorbing new information. My advice, do not be a starving person.

Each time you digest, absorb, combine new knowledge with existing knowledge, you are enabling growth of new neural pathways.

An investment in education always pays the highest returns. - Benjamin Franklin

Last update: September 4, 2022 01:21:30
Created: September 1, 2022 10:14:01
Authors: Neil Roodyn