Laser Learning

Laser learning refers to thinking and talking in short segments to increase retention.

Since the brain recalls in images and experiences, the learner first transforms key points into a few words to form a mental image. This is laser thinking. In order to get information to stick, the learner then “laser” talks by relating his image to another student—in no more than thirty or forty-five seconds. The short thinking and talking times generate just the right amount of stress to make learning most effective. This is a brain-chemical experience, not a social one.

The process has nothing to do with the other person’s listening or giving the learner feedback. It has to do with forcing the learner to think and say what he or she thinks he or she has just learned. For optimum benefit, this has to be done intermittently in short periods of time. It is only in the saying that the learner figures out what he gets or doesn’t get. The strategy engenders the opportunity to self-correct.

The process needs to be explained to students. They need to understand that they will feel a little uncomfortable when they relate their learning to another person. They need to be told that when they think just miniscule things and put them into mental images, memory is increased because episodic pathways to memory are formed. Students need to understand that they have to say it and hear themselves. It is in the saying that the brain’s neurotransmitters get released.

When the learner states what he has “learned,” he realizes he has or does not “have it.” You can see how this works by reviewing The Raise Responsibility System. You will see that only when the learner says it that he determines what needs to be reviewed more. Saying out loud what one has just learned is an excellent reflective strategy to improve learning. Again, the teacher’s explanation of this process is necessary and assists students in becoming comfortable with the process.