Accelerated Learning Presuppositions


Every model, method or philosophy has its presuppositions, a certain filter through which the world is viewed. Accelerated Learning is no exception, and since it is a method that focuses on the influence of a learner’s cognitive belief system on learning, it is important to reflect on those beliefs about learning that underlie the AL model and the way we do things. Some of those beliefs are:

  • You have to be present to learn. This means more than physically present, it means that the learner is also mentally and psychologically present as well.

  • Learning is not about memorizing lots of information, it is about transforming how we think and act.

  • The trainer’s role is not to “spray and pray” or “cover the content”. In other words, the teacher, trainer, facilitator’s job is not to instruct, solely present information, or deliver content; it is to facilitate learning. When learning has happened, our job is done, not before.

  • Each person brings their cognitive belief systems, their previous “learnings” and their hopes and aspirations with them. The facilitator designs experiences to help learners tap into what they know, potentially unlearn what is not helpful, engage fully in the process of learning, experience things that provide an opportunity to re-think, unlearn, and transform what is possible. Both during and after the process, learners are encouraged to notice what they are experiencing, reflect on its meaning, and as a result, add to or change how they think.

  • Learning involves more than just the head; it engages the mind, body and spirit. The cognitive, sensory and contemplative are equally important to the process of learning.

  • Everything speaks. The methods we choose, our language and the room set-up carry important and often unconscious messages about learning and the learner. How we see our role, the individual learners, and learning all have a profound impact on learning. The learning results reflect in large part the powerful underlying messages. We don’t just teach a subject or process - we teach through the filter of who we are, how we think and how we see the world and the learners!

  • Learning is as much unlearning as it is learning, and the ability to reflect is key to transformative learning.

  • AL is not simply about using music, playing games, or implementing any other tools; it is about choosing the most effective methods, media, and activities to serve the purposes of learning. The AL cycle is a framework to guide those decisions.