I have a naive theory about learning. Here it is…
We store knowledge in our head as a set of ideas and some structure between them. Knowledge = ideas + structure. And our existing knowledge drives how we add new knowledge (how we learn).
Whenever we need to process new information, we need to do two things
- fit the idea into the existing structure
- adjust the structure so the idea fits well
It varies which activity is stronger. Experienced people tend to prefer the first activity, and they reject any idea that does not fit. Children dominantly do the second activity, and so their structure is very flexible.
We should use both methods. And we need to find the balance that works for us to maximize our learning.