Excerpt: Beyond Teaching and Learning

by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
<< Books Online Index

If what follows below is only the first chapter and published here on the World Wide Web for free, what can the rest of this remarkable book and extraordinary resource be like? What can the rest of this book do for you and for those whom you care about? Indeed, what can this free chapter do for you and for those you care about?

Find out first-hand. Here is a link to purchase the whole book.

Contents of this Excerpt

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Frame One:  5 hot tips for little knacks in learning

Frame Two:  Learn like a genius…”learning through a periscope”

Frame Three:  Psychology’s main law and how to use it

Frame Four:  Retrieving unconscious awarenesses into consciousness


Chapter 1
Introduction, and Some Quick Ways to Improve Learning


“I can’t remember…. (that date or name or fact)!”

“I can’t make sense of this…why can’t I ever learn anything?”

“It takes so much time and effort to learn this stuff….!”

And yet…

More than a century of behavioral research tells us that every experience, every awareness you have ever had, is still with you even if you “can’t remember it.”

So why do most of us find it so much struggle to “learn?” — with such weak results for so much time and effort? To the point where “education” itself has been defined as “what you have left, when you’ve forgotten everything you’ve been taught!”

There are a lot of good answers to this question. We’ll address some of the best answers here. We’ll start on the road to those answers, though, by re-affirming what behavioral researchers have been showing us for more than a century:

1.  Every — or very nearly every — experience, awareness, or datum you have ever encountered is still somewhere in your memory.

The trick is to get the datum you need, when you need it, back up to the conscious part of your mind where it is useful to you.

Until recently, researchers needed either electric probes used during neurosurgery, or deep hypnosis, or special drugs, to get at and recover such “forgotten” information. No longer. With a few simple, easy procedures given you step-by-step in this book, you can now get at much or most of your information very readily.

Moreover, you can get at that information in the most useful forms rather than merely as raw stored data. — And you can get at the most relevant portions of that vast sea of data, without surgery, without hypnosis, without drugs, without difficulty!

2.  — And with understanding!

Frankly, this is not a book of methods for rote-memorizing more effectively. Our focus is understanding:  intellectual understanding, artistic/aesthetic understanding; artistic/athletic sensori-motor understanding, human understanding. The implications, the reasons why, the relevance, the meaning of the data; not just the data. If you want rote memorization only, choose another program, another set of methods. If you would like your learning to be useful and meaningful to you, continue into this book.

3.  For any subject area you are now struggling to learn, a surprisingly large part of its information and core meanings are already within you.

If you can bring yourself consciously aware of this already-known core of the subject — in detail, amidst all that “forgotten data,” encountered at some time, in some context, somewhere in your life — what little learning by whatever means remains to be done will integrate quickly and easily for you around this already-known core.

There is no subject being taught anywhere that you don’t already know a great deal about, even if you think you’ve never even heard of it before.

Much of this present book is given to step-by-step methods of bringing yourself consciously aware of this hidden core of knowledge and understandings relevant to what you are seeking to learn.

That is what we are about.

What follows below, in this introductory chapter, is some quick-hit help. In part it is an overview of some of our methods, in part a few quick steps or easy ways to get a leg up on a learning situation which may be pressing you.

A lot of us have put off things until the last minute, especially in schooling or training situations. I have to assume that some who are now reading this have done likewise. The frames that follow can help some at least, right now.

These are not substitutes for the main actual methods in this book. With most of the main methods, once you’ve assimilated the method, you can in a few minutes, hours or days acquire levels of conscious understanding and proficiency in almost any subject, levels which ordinarily would require years of dedicated effort and attention to build. All who are now reading this book, and who follow its specified instructions, should become able to achieve this level of effect and comfort.

But now, for those of you who waited to get into this book until you got into a bind, here are a few frames. They are different enough from each other that, whatever your own particular situation, you should be able to get some immediate benefit from one or several of these.

One or more of these frames should be of immediate though modest help to you in your emergency. Please do, however, make a point of going on with the rest of this book and its main methods immediately after you’ve gotten through your emergency. Things can be so very, very much easier and more rewarding for you if you do.

Back to Contents

5 Hot Tips for Little Knacks in Learning

Sometimes even the littlest things can make a big difference — like the outcome of that play at second base….

Did the ball get there first, or did the runner, or did the fielder? A huge difference in outcomes, if the runner got there a tenth of a second faster than the others, or slower. Or if the ball got there faster than the fielder did! Or that little thing about whether the fielder got his foot on the bag…..

Just like games with various factors interacting, where “a miss is as good as a mile” and even an inch or a tiny part of a second makes huge differences in outcome, even the littlest things can make huge differences in how well or how poorly you learn — things so simple and so ordinary no one ever bothered to point them out. Lack of some tiny obvious practice or strategy can get you life-branded as a poor learner — or your child, or anyone whom you care about.

Likewise, picking up on some little knack can get you on a roll instead and mark you as a great, gifted learner or even a genius. Here are some tips on some of these little knacks. If some seem overly obvious to you, others might not. — And if, on some of these, you think they couldn’t possibly make that much difference, try them and see for yourself.

Hot Tip #1:
Turn “dry facts” into memorable experiences. Use your imagination and involve all your senses.

For example, turn the “dry facts” about such historic events as the Battle of New Orleans into:  you as one of those hunkering down behind hasty fortifications in the heat, with the smell of mud and sweat and gunpowder almost like a fist in your nose. Be a soldier in that battle, eyeing which tree or rock to crouch behind when the shooting starts, with the guy next to you hurriedly pointing out possible firing angles. Watch the British main force coming directly at where you’ve fortified most strongly instead of where you were weakest…feel the mixed anxiety and relief that they’re coming right at you there, where you are, instead of at another more vulnerable place…. — And really feel that mix of feelings you get weeks later, after all that you and everyone went through to win that remarkable victory, when you learn that the War of 1812 with England had actually ended by peace treaty agreement before you had to fight that battle….

Or, for example, take the “dry facts” of C=2 pi R or A = pi R squared. Imagine being an inchworm the length of pi chasing his own tail around and across circles and observe everything you can from being that inchworm. Or work out and measure off where those relationships, those distances, measure off in your own body. Against D as diameter of your own body, where is pi, starting from where to where? Measure off these lengths, these distances, these relationships in your own body, and feel them out from the inside.

Or be a participle dangling on the end of a sentence or clause (hold tight!). With great effort and resolve, pull yourself back from the precipice toward a more comfortable place in that sentence….

Imagine the mixed exhaustion and elation and other feelings Thomas Edison must have felt all through his body when, at long last, he realized that he was looking at a successful filament for his light bulb….

Or the astonishment and excitement Elias Howe must have felt as he emerged from the sweaty breathless dry-mouthed terrors of his nightmare — his nightmare of cannibals attacking with spears — when he realized that those odd holes in the spearheads of the attacking cannibals were, in fact, the key solution for the sewing machine he had been trying for so long to invent….

So: “Hot Tips #1” is — Make your “dry facts” utterly memorable! (And as entertaining and engrossing as possible!)

Hot Tip #2:
Talk your way through the key points or issues. — WITH someone.

Talk problems through with a pal, whether these are math problems, science problems, problems of the school, at home or personal problems. Most of the little things people miss, things which get in the way of their solving, no one discovers until he or she has actually said it aloud, to a listener!

You’ll be utterly amazed at what you pick up this way, that you had no hint or realization before that you were missing! (Also, taking yourself a surprising distance along the road toward genius-level performance:  keep a private diary or journal for these things, and/or record them onto a tape recorder.)

Take turns. Going through the problem, one of you describes everything that’s going through your awareness as you do that, not just what you’re “supposed” to be talking about — to give the rest of your mind the chance to relate to the problem.

Your pal is listener, not interrupting, just listening and urging you on if and when need be, until you hit your “a-HA!” instead of letting on how he’s already figured things out. If you see an obvious answer to your partner’s problem, stifle your urge to blurt it out, even if he’s missing it entirely.

The more he wrestles with it himself, the more likely it is that he will not only find the answer that is best for him, but become able to answer all such further questions of that type. He may even think of that answer days later, while doing or thinking about other things, thanks to having truly wrestled with the problem.

When it’s your turn to describe freely and to have a go at solving the problem, allow your own ideas and perceptions, and descriptions of your ideas and perceptions, to surprise you! — Because often the answer comes from unexpected directions if you let it, and balks when you don’t.

So that’s the second set of hot tips…Talk your way through the key points or issues, WITH someone.

Hot Tip #3:
Experiment and Record

If a problem seems difficult, experiment with putting the problem into a different form and solving that one, then come back to the main one. Also — experiment with imagining whatever’s in that problem being bigger or smaller, or changing with time, or standing it upside down, or being in different colors, or asking “What if…” as another way to “get a handle on it.”

Play with solutions to the what-if to step back from the genuine problem and give your mind some room to work in. By so diverting your mind from the literal problem, amazingly enough, some of the solutions to the what-ifs will help you resolve the real problem.

Albert Einstein, widely regarded as the 20th Century’s greatest genius, did such simple “mind experiments” on his way to discovering Relativity — not only as his way to figuring it out in the first place but then in teaching that theory to others.

After such experimentation, and after talking problems through with a pal, review and examine what you did. See if from that review you can find out what happened, especially things that became apparent, whether large or little, that will make your next problem-solving be easier and more accurate.

So that’s the third set of hot tips…Fiddle with the problem, experiment, observe, record.

Hot Tip #4:
Treat what you don’t understand in your studies as problems. Do to those points-of-not-understanding what you did to problems in the hot tips above.

Whatever the state of your learning and your history as a learner, some parts of your learning, during your earlier life and even currently, have gone easier and better than have other parts. Not all of the good and not all of the bad in those differences can be attributed to good or bad teachers or texts.

Compare everything that was going on for you in your most successful learnings with any contrast in those factors during the less successful. Brainstorm all possible factors, don’t edit for accuracy or reasonableness until you have maybe 50 or more items, some of them wild. Then sort down to see what items you might find it useful to give some attention to, or to provide for yourself in future rounds of successful learning. Cluster your items, notice chunks of similar factors and impressions. Focus on those patterns; also give some further attention to several of your more surprising or wilder items.

If anything triggers a gust of laughter from you, pay it special attention: chances are good that may be pointing to something significant.

In any case, sort down from the original 50 or so to maybe five or so items you can give further attention to.

So that’s the fourth set of hot tips…Turn each point not understood into a problem and solve it as per the above.

Hot Tip #5:
To make sure you understand something, explain it to someone much younger than you … And make HIM understand it!

One of our most famous educators, Jerome S. Bruner, once said that you can teach any idea or concept to anyone at any age level! — provided you put it to him in his own conceptual vocabulary. Meaning:  in terms that he already understands and uses. In your search to find the terms which someone who is much younger than you are, and/or less experienced than you are, and/or from a very different background understands, you strengthen your own grasp immensely on that point of understanding.

For the youngest among my readers:  You might not have to get a teacher or parent to explain any of the above to you! — Just get together with two or three friends. Each of you take turns explaining the above to each other, in detail….. — And then take the most important understandings you can build together, and teach them in turn to a younger brother or sister.

So that’s your fifth set of hot tips…Explain key points effectively to someone younger, making sure BOTH of you now understand them.

So here in one small space is the “Golden Set of 5 Hot Tips,” where even remarkably little things can make remarkably big gains in learning for you:

  1. Make your “dry facts” utterly memorable! (And as entertaining and engrossing as possible!)
  2. Talk your way through the key points or Issues, WITH someone.
  3. Fiddle with the problem. Experiment. Observe. Record.
  4. Turn each point not understood into a problem and solve it as per the above.
  5. Make sure you understand a key point by explaining it effectively to some

Back to Contents

A Major Way YOU Can Learn Like A Genius

All of you reading this:

You have brains enough to run a galaxy. What are you doing with them?

One of the most frequently used paths to genius:  find a knack that works for you. Get on a roll. Find ways to stay on that roll. Find ways to return to being on that roll, until so much else falls into that roll that even you begin to realize that you are, indeed, a genius…..

The previous were some very general, brief, and quickly assimilated suggestions to improve your learning. Many other programs have similar recommendations. Here is a glimpse of one of the types of method which are special to this book and to our program, though it also is beginning to come into use in other programs elsewhere. We call it “Periscopic Learning” or “Borrowed Genius” and a few other things.

How To Learn Through a Periscope
  • We had enrolled our 4-year-old daughter in a neighborhood swim team, not for the sake of competing but simply for safety reasons, to ensure she would be competent in the water. During one of the team’s meets, in one heat a clerical error had her swim as the only small kid among 8-, 9- and 10-year-olds. To our amazement, she swam far faster than ever before and finished right in the middle of the pack. “How did you do that?!?” we asked her. Her reply: “I made believe I was one of the big kids.”
  • In the play Camelot, Merlin was working with Arthur, the young to-be king of England, at a point where Arthur was imagining himself to be a hawk. Asked Merlin of Arthur: “What does the hawk know, that Arthur does not know?” From “up there,” young Arthur discovered that all those political boundaries everyone was always so worked up about simply weren’t visible down there on the physical landscape — that England was one land. That was the beginning of his resolve in unifying England.

Like projecting your view through a periscope:  let some aspect or part of you “become” a whole, distinct person who happens to be the world’s greatest genius in what you are trying to learn. Through that new vantage point via periscope, see and understand easily what had been obscure to you before.

  • Just create such genius in the same sense that tribesmen of the Bear Clan wore the heads of bears to better understand the wilderness from which they made their living — while wearing a bear’s head, discovering what would bears see in that landscape….
  • Or in the same sense that one young lad of our experience, about to “not make” his high school’s baseball team, working with us during an hour of “putting on the heads” of his various baseball heroes, discovered through one of those “hero heads” how to get extra focus on the baseball by swinging not at the baseball itself but at an imaginary flyspeck on that baseball. He made the team; his first ten games he batted 800; at season’s end he was voted MVP by not only his team but by his school’s entire league.
  • Or in the same sense that in our very first 1977 experiment which launched Project Renaissance, a secretary starting to take violin lessons leaped from raw beginner to advanced student in two lessons by our special way of “putting on the head” of great violinists. She came by to visit our second experiment three weeks later and gave us a very nice concert. (ALL of us were getting similar results in our chosen areas even before we perfected this method!)

Each of the 47 diverse methods for such Periscopic Learning, through Project Renaissance’s strategies of contextual projection and description, enables one to learn with understanding, or gain in skills, years’ worth in only hours:  truly “accelerated learning!”

(Periscopic Learning in its 47 different versions, in turn, is only one of eight types of accelerated learning method unique to Project Renaissance. You do have something to look forward to in going beyond these first few “emergency first-aid” pages!)

Your “quick-hit” suggestion for this frame … Imagine being a genius at what it is that you are trying to learn.

Imagine Being a Genius

While describing that genius to tape recorder or listener to make that experience more real to you, give special attention to imagining, as concretely as possible, in as sensory a way as possible, becoming that genius. Give special attention to the way it feels being that genius — that helps you discover the things which that genius would notice or discover. Especially physical feelings or sensations in the face and in the body, with the posture and gestures of that genius.

Hold onto the feeling of that particular genius while you are working at whatever you are seeking to learn. (Suggestion:  also recover that feeling and bring it silently with you into the test or exam which usually accompanies the windup of such last-minute “learning emergencies.”)

To discover how your deeper mind may represent a particular type of genius to you, try out several different types of genius first. Study what it might feel like in your body if, say, you were a genius mathematician. Describe all the differences in feeling in your body, posture and ways of moving when you are “being a genius mathematician” and being yourself.

Then imagine being a genius artist, and study those differences, then a genius in dealing with people, and so on. Once you’ve experienced directly for yourself how each type of genius feels differently to you, you can get the best defined patterns of feeling which go with the type of genius you need for this present occasion. “Wearing” that feeling, then, will let things occur to you or happen for you that otherwise would not, strengthening on this occasion your learning or test performance or general performance.

A similar suggestion, for when you are taking a test or exam:  If you are good at one or more of the more involved computer games, or at chess, take that same cool, clear, positive-excited feeling with you into that exam. Re-create and “wear” that feeling there while you are working through that exam or test.

Whatever the benefits you can glean from this immediate occasion, please know that by the stronger of these periscopic learning methods as found later in this book, you may easily learn in several days, sometimes in only hours, and with far fuller understanding, proficiencies which otherwise conventionally require arduous years to build. (This is also true of the seven other basic types of accelerated learning given you in this book.) This is especially true in the sciences and in most of the humanities — and, oddly enough, in athletics, where kinesthetic understanding is involved.

Understanding is the key here. These are not memorization techniques. These methods are not especially helpful in courses whose contents are mainly the memorization of things, especially the temporary memorization for tests and then forgetting — which typifies far too many classes and classrooms today. Don’t turn to our kind of method if what you want is to memorize something for a test.

I hope that, whatever your schooling has been, you who are reading this still do positively value understanding.

Oh, all right, we do have one short-term memorization technique a few pages below, for those of you caught in that type of learning emergency. Look up “STARS” — Spaced Tape And Replay System — in the index [the printed book index, not the online index], and if you have a tape recorder, find some quick, if only temporary, relief that way. But 99% of this book and program, and rightfully so, is dedicated to finding and building true understanding — with direct recourse to those further, richer regions of your mind and brain which see patterns, relationships, significance through those relationships… wherein your understandings first appear.

Back to Contents

Psychology’s Main Law and How to Use It

Through behavior’s prime “natural law,” the Law of Effect, you can access any region of your awareness and bring it into full focus of consciousness where it’s immediately useful to you. What is that Law of Effect?

Natural laws are not the kind of laws which any legislature can pass. They are patterns of events carefully observed in nature, described in a form which allows one to recognize or predict where else such patterns of event will occur, and tested to make certain that these descriptions are accurate.

You might or might not have a formal statement yourself for “the law of gravity” in physics, but you are well aware that there is such a law, you know that that law is there regardless of what Congress or any legislature might try to say about it, that the “enforcer” is nature itself rather than some policeman or government regulator. For example, you can pretty well predict, even from your informal understanding of the law of gravity, the outcome of walking off the top of a cliff.

Understand well enough, enough natural laws, and you can not only understand but pretty well predict most of what’s going on around you (and within you!). If we knew enough of the actual laws of nature, everything happening to us and around us would make sense, and it would be a lot easier to make things come out in a desirable way. Most of science itself is an ongoing, careful, disciplined search for better understandings of natural law.

The Law of Effect

Many-volumed texts have been written on the Law of Effect. A simple, informal statement of it, however, will suit most purposes even when closely examined. Here is that simple, informal statement of the Law of Effect:  You get more of what you reinforce!

This simple law can be taken in many directions, just as a simple screwdriver can be used in a lot of different ways. In this frame, though, we will look mainly at:

  • How to take control over more of your own life, away from unthinking institutions and overworked/distracted authorities which may control so much of your life now. And,
  • How to use this Law of Effect to reinforce into full conscious useful awareness the learnings, information, understandings, and awarenesses that you are pursuing.

Do More of Your Own Reinforcement

Don’t depend so directly upon the rewards and guidance of others. Let me give an example:

Ever start to have an idea, didn’t do anything about it, and eventually forgot all about it?

We all have done that, hundreds if not thousands of times. Only those ideas that you respond to in some way — telling somebody, or making a note of it, or acting in some way in response to it — can you remember many, maybe even any, of your passed-over ideas now? Here is the problem with that:

Each time you let an idea slip through without responding in some way to it, you are reinforcing the behavior of being UNcreative. Each time you do tell somebody about it, or note it down somewhere, or in some way respond to it or act upon it, you are reinforcing the behavior of being creative. By reinforcing such behavior, you become more creative.

Likewise, each time you notice something others probably have not noticed, and you let that slide through without response, you are reinforcing the behavior of being UNobservant. Alas, in fact, too much of the training and schooling we have going on is training in what not to notice! — And each time you do tell somebody about it, note it down somewhere, or in some way respond to it, or act on it, you are reinforcing the behavior of being observant, of being perceptive. By reinforcing this behavior, you make yourself into a more perceptive person, gaining permanent benefits of being more perceptive and observant.

Wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever your circumstances, you can easily do that for yourself. How observant or perceptive or creative a person you are is your choice, your doing, you don’t have to have a special program provided to you. There are plenty of good programs which are a real convenience to have, but you don’t have to have these, you don’t even need anyone’s permission, to make yourself as creative and perceptive and observant as you please. It’s up to you.

Using the Law of Effect in Learning

Generally, what you respond to, you reinforce.

You reinforce your contact with, and awareness of, whatever it is you are responding to. And, you are reinforcing whatever skills and traits you are drawing upon for that situation.

The more you can find to reward, even excite, your senses or imagination or pleasure in any body of learning, the more of that learning is reinforced into full focus of conscious awareness and of immediately retrievable memory. Moreover,

Everything suggested above, and most notably everything suggested in the first frame, are ways to find your own reinforcements in what you are learning, so you can learn it more effectively.

OK, so you’ve got a test coming up tomorrow morning. But let me ask you:

  • What are the things reinforced in you if your main reinforcement is just to get past that test?
  • What are the things reinforced in you if your main reinforcements are from within and from the added values you can gain from these effective ways of focussing your awareness?

Just one thought here — I’m sure you can take this question the rest of the way. How long has most of the learning you’ve gone through up to this point lasted for you or remained where it’s useful to you? –Or has it been useful to you??? Can you relate that to what gets reinforced when your main or only major objective is to get by that next test?

* * *

(Here is where, if you happen to have previously acquired the “Freenoting” method taught in the next chapter, we’d ask for a Freenoting pause because that will bring out so very many astonishing realizations for you. If not now, though, after your immediate learning emergency is over and you’ve gone into the main part of this book, you might for fun come back to where I’ve put the three stars or asterisks, freenote there for 10 or so minutes, and discover just how much there really is for you that is revolving around even just this one point! — For now, just earmark this page for easy return to it after you’ve read the Freenoting technique.)

Your life is controlled by what is reinforced in it. How much of that you wish to continue to entrust to others, and how much you care to take on for yourself, is up to you — as is what directions you take this in if you do assume that added control over your own life by developing your own ways of reinforcing yourself.

The hot tip from this, your third frame, then, is almost the same as from your first frame:   Find ways to make what you want to keep, from your learning-efforts, as utterly memorable, as entertaining, as engrossing, as reinforcing as possible. And, from day to day and from point to point in your activities, examine just what it is in you that’s being reinforced at that point….and what you care to do about it.

Back to Contents

Retrieving Unconscious Awarenesses into Consciousness

You have heard it before, that only 5 to 10 percent of the cells in your brain are developed at all. If you factor in the question of how well those cells are developed, the statistic becomes a little more alarming. Some brain cells have been counted with as many as 60,000 connections with other cells — one measure of their development.

Most cells in your brain that are developed at all only have maybe a dozen connections. Which means, it is not true that people’s brains are 5 to 10 percent developed. Instead, factoring in the degree of development of such cells as are developed, less than a thousandth of one percent of their brains are developed!

From this one may reasonably infer that you and I and those around you, all of us have some room for improvement. That’s not a rueful, “Boy, do we have a long way to go!” but a hopeful, “Hey, look how much farther we can get!”

Turning It On….

We know very. very little as yet about how to turn on more of our endowed natural abilities. Even the little we do now know, though, can make huge differences. However much advantage you find here or in the rest of this book, though, before you play king of the hill remember how much further room there is yet to go!

Here is a little of what we now already know —

Every serious researcher of the brain or mind has come to agreement on one point from their various observations:  that for every awareness you are consciously experiencing, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other awarenesses which you are unconsciously experiencing.

How we have learned to select and funnel a very few things to conscious awareness, and to route everything else to unconscious, is in part by practicality. Most of the time at least, I don’t want to put much of my attention into monitoring my liver functions or analyzing in detail why so-and-so four years ago seemed to be in such a hurry. But part of it was by accident of personal history, which may or may not have led you toward the best strategy of selection. And part of it features aspects of our culture, some of which are useful and some of which lead you away from the best selection as to what goes to conscious attention and what gets dumped into the unconscious.

For example, in our culture, whatever your personal ethics, you perceive some value to “the truth” and to ways of “getting at” truth. Correspondingly, at least some of what reaches your conscious attention bears on truth and its discovery, even if you were an inveterate liar. If that weren’t the case, you’d be hopelessly muddled and lost.

But also in our culture, we are all taught — by well-meaning teachers and usually also by parents and bosses — to “pay attention,” meaning to look like you’re paying attention instead of mulling things over, instead of imagination games which are the child’s way of making sense of the world.

So all things considered, it seems possible to develop a better strategy in routing some awarenesses to consciousness and others to unconsciousness, so that more of what’s meaningful and/or useful becomes clear to you. There is a little of that further on in this book, but more now of how to retrieve the more useful and meaningful parts of what had previously been dumped into unconsciousness.

I hope you interpret that to mean, not only the answers you need for tomorrow morning’s test, but whatever it is, in the body of information you are studying, that might in the long run be useful and meaningful to you. Otherwise, you are reinforcing in yourself short-term rote memorization, and post-test forgetting, with all that effort you’ve burned to date as a result going to waste thereafter.

So part of this frame’s suggestion to you is this:  In whatever you are now seeking to learn, what is there in it that you would like to have be more useful to you, more meaningful (meaning, how it affects other things in your experience) — and/or drawing upon skills you would like to build upon? Therein direct at least part of your attention; therein find your reinforcements; and you are on the way.

What’s Further at Stake in Retrieval

Another major thing all serious researchers of brain and/or mind, for more than a century, have come to agreement on from their very different observations, objectives, and backgrounds, is this:  that every datum, every awareness conscious or unconscious, is still with you in memory, still there to be usefully drawn upon.

Hey! Wasn’t this where we came in? — The complaint that you can’t remember such-and-such on a test “when you need it,” yet all that stuff is there somewhere in your memory — more information by far, in fact, than everything in print at a great library or at a major university! There, in your memory, somewhere!….

Some researchers found that out by using an electric needle to stimulate individual tissues and cells in the brain during brain surgery. Others found that out by use of certain experimental drugs. Many others found that out by use of deep hypnosis.

Fortunately, neither electroshock nor drugs nor hypnosis is needed, in the slightest, to enhance your ability to learn. My little daughter in that swim meet certainly never resorted to any of these. I have used hypnosis — but not for twenty years. It’s far harder to get anything like these effects going with hypnosis than by our present methods.


  1. act in some way upon or respond to what you are learning, to reinforce it and the skills associated with it; and
  2. respond more to, and so reinforce, those elements within that learning which relate to being useful to you beyond that test, and/or which draw upon or lead to your further skills and proficiencies.

And, in terms of retrieval, start interacting with whatever sector of awareness or memory you want to retrieve. Start with the part that’s most easily accessed, and by describing in detail to someone or to your tape recorder, find that some leads to more which leads to yet more.

(In some sectors the most accessible part may even be pure imagination. Even by focussing and describing what’s in your imagination in certain ways, will lead into direct retrieval and experience of what you were searching for.)

Worth noting again: you’ve got within you — l’il ol’ you! — more insight and understanding than can be found in print in a major university. A remarkably easy way for you to get at that treasure-trove:  simply find a way to describe, from your own impressions, recall, imagery, or even imagination, in detail and at length to an audience, thereby putting the Law of Effect at your service in getting to your buried data.

This is, in fact, once you’ve done it a time or so, so easy to do that the easiest way of learning almost anything is to simply start describing, aloud to an audience, everything you know, think you know, perceive, or otherwise guess, in the context of what you’re trying to learn. Describe rapidly, without worrying yet about accuracy, and keep going for awhile. Soon it may become apparent how remarkably much of the subject you actually already know! — And what remains, then, to be learned by whatever method, integrates rapidly around that already-known core.

You don’t need any “magic pill;” you don’t need any hypnosis.

With or without hypnosis, the fact remains that by the stronger of the periscopic learning methods we introduced in Frame Two and feature later on, and by each of our seven other main types of accelerated learning method, one may easily learn in several days, sometimes in only hours, and with far fuller understanding, proficiencies which otherwise conventionally require years to build. This applies especially in the sciences and in most of the humanities — and, oddly enough, athletics, where kinesthetic understanding is involved. Understanding is the first key here:  these are not memorization techniques.

The Law of Effect is the second key here. Where do you want to find your reinforcement in the learning you are now pursuing? What do you want, in that learning and in yourself, to get reinforced?

The third key is:   Find more ways to interact with what you are trying to learn, so those reinforcements can begin to happen and so that more of what you are trying to learn can find its way to useful consciousness.

So these three keys are your fourth set of “hot tips”: —going for understanding,choosing where you want the Law of Effect to affect you, andinteracting more with what you are seeking to learn.

Taken together, details may differ, but all these frames are saying pretty much the same thing:

Find ways to involve yourself with, and interact with, what you are trying to learn. respond to what you are learning, in ways which reinforce that learning — and your — to your long-term advantage.

Whatever your educational history and experience, you are brighter than you think. Much brighter. You have huge untapped potentials. Everyone who has seriously researched brain or mind, whatever their starting point, is in agreement on this important point. Albert Einstein himself, worldwide a household word for “genius,” was believed to have been mildly retarded before he started doing some of the things we will teach in this book. You don’t have to make yourself a genius if you don’t want to, but you don’t have to make heavy weather either out of what should be an easy, productive pleasure: effective learning with meaningful understanding.

Good luck on that test of yours tomorrow morning! I hope that beyond that short-term emergency situation, I will see you in the meaningful rest of this book! Starting with a general explanation, introduction and Freenoting, in Chapter Two…

Those were your free instructions! — the free opening chapter! To go far further, to get hugely better leverage on everything around you, to obtain the whole of the new edition of Win Wenger’s great book Beyond Teaching And Learning, simply click here.

Back to Contents

©1998 by Project Renaissance (regarding this internet version only, other copyrights may apply). While we encourage the free distribution of this article (complete text only, including this notice and acknowledgment of source), we do require that expressed permission be granted by Project Renaissance for any major republication.

<< Books Online Index