EDUCATION HEURISTIC is a methodology or approach that educators at Berleaf Education adopts to help students realise their potential and achieve academic excellence. The full methodology is set out in a five part series.

“You can be your own best friend or your own worst enemy. Your limit is not the end, however it is your end if you let the limit be.”

Going Beyond your limits can be rather challenging at times. Not only can we experience a burnout, we might also feel that the outcome does not justify the amount of effort invested. Is it true that there is always a limit to what we can learn and what we can achieve in the field of education? 

Before you make a judgement, try out the tips below and you may be surprised to know what you are capable of.

Know Where to Put Your Effort

A giant ship’s engine failed. The ship owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure out how to fix the engine.

Then they brought in an old man who has been fixing ships since he was young. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately started to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, from top to bottom.

Two of the ship owners were watching him, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped onto something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!

A week later, the owners received a $10,000 bill from the old man.

“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!”
So, they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill”.

The man sent a bill that read:
Tapping with a hammer………………….. $ 2.00
Knowing where to tap…………………….. $ 9,998.00

The classic parable of the old man illustrate our first tip.

There have been multiple schools of thought relating to what one can take away from the above parable.

And here are the relevant ones, which could be beneficial for you:
1. Effort is important, but knowing where to put your effort makes all the difference; prioritise if needed and stay focused.
2. Prior knowledge isn’t always an advantage – don’t let experience override critical thinking
3. You are the one responsible for the effort required which can lead to success
4. It is good to be a jack-of-all-trades but at the same time, becoming the master of each and everyone of them

Connecting the Dots

Maintenance and expansion of your knowledge can turn out to be challenging when the endless stream of new information daily overwhelms you. You can overcome this by learning to grasp how concepts and topics are inter-related. For example, discovering how topics you have learnt in math are also applied in physics and chemistry to prove theory and help solve big problems. Some methods that you can adopt would be:

Building a Memory Palace
A method that has been used since ancient Rome; to boost one’s memory through associating what he/she wish to remember with things that can be found in his/her home (palace), and thereafter revisit (jog) these memory by visualising a walkthrough of his/her home.

It takes time for any one to perfect this but in due time, this will prove to be one of the most handy tool that can help to boost learning capacity.

It takes time for anyone to perfect this but in due time, building a “memory palace” will prove to be one of the most handy tool that can help to boost learning capacity.

Micro-Mezzo-Macro Level
Another approach to help push your limits is to avoid being contented with what you have attained at face value and continue exploring (be it deeper or broader); both at the micro and macro level. At the micro level, it looks at the individual components while at the macro level, it looks at how these individual components come together and function at a group. How various groups of knowledge coexist and correlate at a large scale.

Start connecting the dots by delving deeper and/or looking at things from a broader perspective.

What's Next

We are all human and it is inevitable that at times we face a burn out. But do not just take that as your limit; stay calm, rest and get back to work. Try going beyond your limits by trying out different approaches like those that have been shared above. Find out how to further sustainable and reinforce your learnings, by “Starting to Teach” (the next chapter of our education heuristic).

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