Forget the conventional wisdom that some people learn faster than others! A new study reveals what really influences academic success, and you'll be surprised at the result.
A revolution in our understanding of learning
Who hasn't envied that classmate who seems to absorb everything in no time, while you spend hours studying without getting the same results? According to a recent study published by Science AlertIt would seem that we all learn at a similar rate, provided we have the same opportunities to learn.
Researchers analyzed more than 1.3 million student interactions from 6,946 students, ranging from elementary school to university, and covering a variety of topics and learning formats. The finding is clear: learning opportunities most influence academic success, not the assumed learning speed of each individual.
Learning opportunities to reduce achievement gaps
The study shows that achievement gaps are primarily due to differences in the learning opportunities available to students. Thus, better access to these opportunities could help reduce these gaps. Interactive educational tools, such as online courses and educational games, appear to be particularly effective in facilitating the learning of new skills, such as a foreign language or a scientific concept.
Researchers have also sought to answer other questions, such as the number of repetitions needed to assimilate a concept, variability in students' initial level, and differences in learning rates among individuals.
Perseverance, the key to success?
On average, students need seven opportunities to learn something, although this varies from individual to individual. This variation is explained more by the student's initial level than by his or her ability to learn quickly. The researchers also emphasize the importance of active participation in learning experiences.
According to the authors of the study, one should never give up: “No matter who you are, you can do it. You may have had fewer opportunities in the past, which makes it harder to get started, but you'll get as far as anyone else if you keep at it. This revelation is a real motivator for all learners, proving that perseverance and access to learning opportunities are the real keys to success. So, don't hesitate to start learning a new skill and take advantage of all the opportunities available to you!
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