When the learner gets stuck, he says I don’t know. I don’t understand. This inner voice stops the learner from being able to think. It shuts off the learning engine. It turns off the “thinking cap”. Then “spacing out” kicks in.
Just changing the wording to I don’t know yet, I don’t understand yet, keeps the mind moving, and the academic engine running.
There are so many decisions we make subconsciously while learning. How to sit. What to look at. What to focus on. How long to focus on it. The effective learner is aware of these decisions, and he makes the best ones. He realizes that these are decisions, and he always picks the best option.
So when we get stuck in learning, we need to ask ourselves, or the one we are helping academically, what are your options to understand this. Usually, when I ask this question to the student, he says, Ask the teacher/ tutor… Then I ask for 5 options. “5? How can I think of 5 options?!?” Then he starts listing. 1. Reread. 2. Read further. 3. Look at sources that the text is based off. 4. Skip and come to later. 5 Locate the words that I don’t understand, and look them up in a dictionary. 6. Artscroll.
It is amazing how when you ask for a number of options, the brain can do more than you expected. And the more options, the more unstuck we become.