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The Secrets to Successful Learning

While the rest of the world was focusing on children’s learning during global Brain Awareness Week in mid-March, ISBN narrowed it down to education in the beauty industry, bringing in a top expert to discuss the controversial subject of what makes successful education.

In the first in a series of Coffee Talk webinars, created as an opportunity where members can sit down together for a virtual, informal chat about burning issues within the industry, Mark Kartarik, President of Sport Clips Inc, brought his old university professor to the table to discuss theories of learning and their impact on the industry.

Matthew H Olson, professor of psychology at Hamline University St Paul, Minnesota, and author of the seminal An Introduction to the Theories of Learning, now in its 9th edition, is a clear authority on effective approaches to learning. The priority for Mark and his peers within the ISBN was to hear what Professor Olson considered the most successful way to learn.
Avoid cramming sessions

Professor Olson warned against concentrated, last-minute learning, where lots of information is crammed in and quickly forgotten. Instead he advised following the distributive model: shorter sessions with hands-on practice as the best way to yield good learning.

Can do, teach

He also suggested allocating time for learners to teach other learners. ‘You don’t know what you don’t know until you try to teach it to someone else,’ he told Mark. ‘When you’ve got two or three engaged in learning a new skill, turn them loose and get them to reteach to each other. When they have to deliver that knowledge to others, it will quickly show up the gaps in learning.’

Advanced homework

Reinforcing any education by reviewing the learning materials will also help with retention. It can be follow-up materials or, as Mark Kartarik suggested, videos or information reviewed in advance of the training session. ‘It’s a challenge,’ explained Mark. ‘But perhaps providing learning beforehand can help increase learning.’

On-the-job learning

According to Olson, the great learning theorists, going back more than a century, have recognized that apprenticeship kinds of education is the best way to learn. Providing in-salon education through mentorship and coaching while learners actually engage in their craft will drive understanding and retention.

The value of virtual reality

Using technology to deliver real-time education could resolve many of the challenges facing the industry, with regard to time, hands-on practice and geography. Professor Olson revealed that the technology for 3D simulation education already exists, but the expense of developing it is prohibitive. ‘It is feasible that we can develop a pair of gloves so you can simulate the tactile sensation, where the trainee will get the sensation of moving in space,’ he added.

If you’d like to listen to the entire webinar go to

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