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Are You A Spiral Learner or a Mastery Learner?

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Primeperiwinkle

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I don’t know where this is gonna go so come hang out and share your thoughts ok? I need a break from designing a thing. Lol.

There are two main ways to teach math. Almost all of the hundreds of math curriculums on the market today can be put into two categories: Mastery or Spiral. Whether you homeschool or send your kids to school the math curriculum they use probably falls into one of those categories.

Mastery math programs do not proceed to a new concept until they’ve thoroughly and repeatedly deep-dived into the first. So you might have your kid do hundreds of addition problems before going on to subtraction. Tests include one concept and until that concept is understood you stay on it.

Spiral math curriculums do “touches” of a concept and then move on to another which is connected, somehow. So moving from addition to subtraction to multiplication to division in one term wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. Neither would doing some algebra, then some geometry, then some more algebra. Each lesson is short. Even if you don’t have complete understanding you still go on to the next. Tests include simple and complex problems.

Since the spiral wraps around, your child will ultimately get the same material repeated over and over but it’s spread out in a different way.

The thing is if your kid loves to focus on one thing and you use a spiral curriculum they will automatically become frustrated. Likewise, if your child enjoys variety and connecting different concepts and you use a mastery program they’ll be bored to tears.

Ok now connect what I’ve just told you to becoming a business owner. Are you a Mastery Learner or a Spiral Learner? Which do you NEED to be? Which do you feel envious about? Which one are you beating yourself up over?

If you link these ideas to entrepreneurial pursuits it becomes pretty fascinating.

Neither learning style is inherently wrong.

So if you’re a natural spiral learner who prefers speed, change, and breadth of many subjects over repetition then it makes sense to lean into that. Just be sure to design your spiral well. Everything you’re learning “a little” bit about can bring you closer and closer to your goal of becoming a Wise Sage Millionaire.

If you’re a natural mastery learner, preferring a comprehensive understanding of one subject over “little bits” here and there then lean into that to become a Distinguished Expert Millionaire.

Now, people are going to say that one kind of learning is better than another, especially for entrepreneurs, but the truth is to be extremely successful you’re going to need to be both. But knowing which type you naturally are and which type you need to be at different times might very well save your sanity.

So what does this look like irl? Well, if you’re a person who can finish a 60 hour course on How To Draw A Walrus in 15 days with no problems, you’re probably a very diligent mastery learner. You map out your journey from A to B to C all the way through to Z and then complete it.

If you’re a person who completes 10 hours of that drawing course in 15 days but also manages to learn about the mating habits, diet, ecosystem, lifespan, and typical day of a Walrus.. you’re probably a spiral learner. You love going from A to D to B to E to C to F and so on.

The thing is BOTH types are screwed if the way to make money was by actually seeing a real walrus. That’s why it’s nice to have successful ppl in your life who are happy to call you out on your WS. (walrus sh!t)

Lol.

So, do you spend any time planning your curriculum of business learning? Do you know which type you are?
 

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Primeperiwinkle

Primeperiwinkle

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Is there a test we can take to see what our style is?

If learning was a buffet dinner I'd have a little bit of everything that took my fancy then gorge on ones I like the 2nd round.
There’s no test that I know of. You sound like a fatty spiral. Hahaha.

But seriously, is that how you approach business stuff too? I’m curious.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

Primeperiwinkle

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Probably spiral, so many different hats to wear & precious little time to master any one thing.
Luckily we don't have to be experts, we just need to know more than average & do it better than others.

Now it's a boxing analogy, we punch above our weight & are nimble enough not to get knocked out.

Better still, we're pocket battleships, we outgun everything that can outrun us & outrun everything that can outgun us.
Rhyming AND factoring.. you’re totes a spiral! :) So am I if truth be told. But sometimes I really really really wanna just finish the damn How to Draw A Walrus course... ya know?
 

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Interesting ideas.

How do I become a better learner? How do I know what im doing wrong?
 

Yzn

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It's funny reading this topic right at this exact moment, because I was just going through a web dev. course on udemy and I was fast forwarding/skipping lots of minutes ahead because I felt so bored following through.

Having said that, Mathematics was a different game. I would only understand the concept until I've done tens of questions where usually something clicks and I feel like oh now I get it.

Great topic though. Thanks for sharing.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

Primeperiwinkle

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Interesting ideas.

How do I become a better learner? How do I know what im doing wrong?
You’ll become a better learner to the extent that you change the types of ideas that infiltrate your life, develop productive habits, and ensure that your environment aligns with good stuff, true stuff, and beautiful stuff.

1.) Guard the ideas that come into your life.
2.) Develop solid habits.
3.) Maintain a healthy flourishing environment.

Lessons remain worthless until you act on them.. this is why explaining, writing, or teaching what you’ve learned is the FASTEST way to be sure you understand a subject. To be absolutely sure you grasp something you go beyond that and begin conversing, debating, and defending what you’ve learned with experts in the same field.

Explain what you just read to somebody and you’ll remember it better.

Leaving a subject while it’s still exciting and interesting and switching to a completely different type of activity will keep your enthusiasm for learning high. So, spending 45min learning and then stopping for a 15min walk before returning to the same subject or doing a slightly different one is helpful. Experts disagree on time but a good rule of thumb is to double your age for minutes you can successfully attend to a subject before needing a break. So a ten year old can focus for about 20min, a 30 yr old for about an hour, before they need to switch to something else. That “break” to another activity is crucial to memory, enjoyment, and productivity. You’re not a machine.

Alternating academic lessons (reading/courses/online) with hands on studies (woodworking/crafting/mechanics) and time spent outside in nature brings refreshment to your body and mind. You are a human being and you are meant to enjoy smelling food, tasting food, eating food, digesting food (gives you energy) and expelling food (brings relief). Ideas are the same exact thing. If all you “eat” is the same type of food you get bored. If all you cook is the same type of oatmeal you could make when you were six, there’s a problem.

You’ll know what you’re doing wrong by comparing your finished product - remember that’s the explaining, writing, making or teaching of a thing - to an expert’s. Compare your finished product to another newbie’s and you’ll never have a clue if you’re any good. It’s the blind leading the blind.

Compare your finished product to a professional and you’ll know what needs to change. To be a great artist you don’t study finger painting, you study great art.

This is why it is absolutely crucial to cultivate a large variety of experts that you can trust, both dead and alive. Hemingway isn’t like Dickens but they both wrote timeless novels. Their path wasn’t like yours but they made lots of mistakes before they got beyond amateur level.. we value them both.

They both inspire us to create/make/do more. By grasping a clear idea of how long it took them to get from point a to point b you can get a feel for how well you’re doing and what you need to aim for.

Finally, surround yourself with excellent ppl who are all developing/creating/making different stuff not just absorbing/digesting/consuming stuff.

So for instance, if I told you to sit down and write or record yourself saying everything you remember from reading MJ’s books.. how much can you recall? If I told you that you HAD to write it all out, how carefully would you explain it?

Then, if I said, “Tomorrow I’m gonna put you in front of a hundred brand new business owners who need his principles. It’s your job to make them clear.” How much more detailed would you become?

Imagine if every single person who joined this forum had to give a talk on the lessons they learned from Unscripted! But most just read the book shallowly, grasp the concepts shallowly, get emotionally invested with very little real comprehension and then give up because they got confused or disappointed.

It’s so incredibly easy to read a blurb while copying and pasting in our society but real understanding of a subject comes from putting it into your own words, explaining it to other people, and combining what you’ve learned from multiple places to create something new and fresh for the ppl around you.

Hopefully that helps?
 

Bekit

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I don’t know where this is gonna go so come hang out and share your thoughts ok? I need a break from designing a thing. Lol.

There are two main ways to teach math. Almost all of the hundreds of math curriculums on the market today can be put into two categories: Mastery or Spiral. Whether you homeschool or send your kids to school the math curriculum they use probably falls into one of those categories.

Mastery math programs do not proceed to a new concept until they’ve thoroughly and repeatedly deep-dived into the first. So you might have your kid do hundreds of addition problems before going on to subtraction. Tests include one concept and until that concept is understood you stay on it.

Spiral math curriculums do “touches” of a concept and then move on to another which is connected, somehow. So moving from addition to subtraction to multiplication to division in one term wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. Neither would doing some algebra, then some geometry, then some more algebra. Each lesson is short. Even if you don’t have complete understanding you still go on to the next. Tests include simple and complex problems.

Since the spiral wraps around, your child will ultimately get the same material repeated over and over but it’s spread out in a different way.

The thing is if your kid loves to focus on one thing and you use a spiral curriculum they will automatically become frustrated. Likewise, if your child enjoys variety and connecting different concepts and you use a mastery program they’ll be bored to tears.

Ok now connect what I’ve just told you to becoming a business owner. Are you a Mastery Learner or a Spiral Learner? Which do you NEED to be? Which do you feel envious about? Which one are you beating yourself up over?

If you link these ideas to entrepreneurial pursuits it becomes pretty fascinating.

Neither learning style is inherently wrong.

So if you’re a natural spiral learner who prefers speed, change, and breadth of many subjects over repetition then it makes sense to lean into that. Just be sure to design your spiral well. Everything you’re learning “a little” bit about can bring you closer and closer to your goal of becoming a Wise Sage Millionaire.

If you’re a natural mastery learner, preferring a comprehensive understanding of one subject over “little bits” here and there then lean into that to become a Distinguished Expert Millionaire.

Now, people are going to say that one kind of learning is better than another, especially for entrepreneurs, but the truth is to be extremely successful you’re going to need to be both. But knowing which type you naturally are and which type you need to be at different times might very well save your sanity.

So what does this look like irl? Well, if you’re a person who can finish a 60 hour course on How To Draw A Walrus in 15 days with no problems, you’re probably a very diligent mastery learner. You map out your journey from A to B to C all the way through to Z and then complete it.

If you’re a person who completes 10 hours of that drawing course in 15 days but also manages to learn about the mating habits, diet, ecosystem, lifespan, and typical day of a Walrus.. you’re probably a spiral learner. You love going from A to D to B to E to C to F and so on.

The thing is BOTH types are screwed if the way to make money was by actually seeing a real walrus. That’s why it’s nice to have successful ppl in your life who are happy to call you out on your WS. (walrus sh!t)

Lol.

So, do you spend any time planning your curriculum of business learning? Do you know which type you are?
I love this!

I've never heard these terms.

I'm definitely a spiral learner.

Soooo interesting!
 
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Primeperiwinkle

Primeperiwinkle

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LOL
Seconds maybe.
Although time does compress & a 35 minute lesson seemed like 35 years at times.
That's from a teacher's POV too.
Yea, most teachers are in a place where obedience and good behavior are not a primary concern. Without those as the foundation, learning/teaching becomes a constant challenge between the eternal spark of a child and their demonic psycho rebellious part. <slight hyperbole>

Anyhoo..my kids can spend 30 minutes or 6 hours playing Minecraft. They can also spend 30 min or 6 hours discussing poetry, literature, math, and the importance of not picking the wrong trail that leads us on an accidental four hour hike... lol. All kids have the capability of attention. It’s harnessing it towards good things that takes discipline.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

Primeperiwinkle

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I love this!

I've never heard these terms.

I'm definitely a spiral learner.

Soooo interesting!
I’m so glad you found it interesting!

I was wondering if the order we go about trying to accomplish our entrepreneur stuff is just as important as what we study/do. The really fascinating bit is that one of the greatest math programs out there is kinda in between spiral and mastery. It’s called Singapore Math and they order every topic in a specific way.
Concrete —> Pictorial —> Abstract

Language learning isn’t spiral at all though it’s more mastery. If you learn 1,000 most used words in a foreign language you’ll automatically understand something like 70% of non-fiction books in that language. Nobody starts learning a foreign language by studying philosophical terms first. We learn concrete objects and phrases that relate to concrete needs, “Where is the bathroom?” Rofl.

I believe the very, VERY first step to developing ones entrepreneurial skills is learning the vocabulary of the niche you’re curious about.

But if I’m a spiral learner I might intersperse one thing like, reading a blog post written by a sales expert that is just a bit beyond my comprehension level, with another thing like ACTUALLY cold calling a person and trying to sell them on my services. In other words I’m not just studying sales from Jan-March.

I think breaking the cycle of easy enjoyment and replacing it with enjoying work tightens up the spiral significantly.

Input -> Output -> Failure -> Rest -> Curiosity -> Input —> Excitement —> Increased Output—-> Less Failure

And on and on.. all the way to Consistent Success.

The trick is to balance the subjects so that I’m not spending more time on consuming than I am on creating. Whether you stack a big bulk of time Learning and then a big bulk of time Doing or you do a little learning then a little doing over and over DOESNT matter. It’s making sure that you increase the doing at regular intervals. The definition of action faking, at least to me, is that gluttony of wanting to experience the thrill of learning without the work/suffering of creation or sharing what you’ve learned. I’m totes rambling.. but this was all floating around in my head this week. Lol.

The metaphor I love the most is that the pursuit of any noble spiritual goal (inner peace) or any noble material goal (building a company) is EXACTLY like the difficulties we encounter when we pursue radical physical changes.

Breaking down your muscles and building them up by weightlifting is only one part of an athlete’s life. Rest is invaluable for proper cell growth as is diet. If you’re trying to reshape your entire physique you don’t do it in a day by doing exactly the same things over and over. There’s actually a scientific path of joint strength gains THEN muscle gains THEN power gains. If you don’t follow that order your chances of getting hurt increase by a lot.

Believe it or not this all relates to me taking a coding course somehow but hell if I can connect the dots now... rofl. Anyhoo I’m happy to share! :)
 

Xeon

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I’m so glad you found it interesting!

I was wondering if the order we go about trying to accomplish our entrepreneur stuff is just as important as what we study/do. The really fascinating bit is that one of the greatest math programs out there is kinda in between spiral and mastery. It’s called Singapore Math and they order every topic in a specific way.
Concrete —> Pictorial —> Abstract

Language learning isn’t spiral at all though it’s more mastery. If you learn 1,000 most used words in a foreign language you’ll automatically understand something like 70% of non-fiction books in that language. Nobody starts learning a foreign language by studying philosophical terms first. We learn concrete objects and phrases that relate to concrete needs, “Where is the bathroom?” Rofl.

I believe the very, VERY first step to developing ones entrepreneurial skills is learning the vocabulary of the niche you’re curious about.

But if I’m a spiral learner I might intersperse one thing like, reading a blog post written by a sales expert that is just a bit beyond my comprehension level, with another thing like ACTUALLY cold calling a person and trying to sell them on my services. In other words I’m not just studying sales from Jan-March.

I think breaking the cycle of easy enjoyment and replacing it with enjoying work tightens up the spiral significantly.

Input -> Output -> Failure -> Rest -> Curiosity -> Input —> Excitement —> Increased Output—-> Less Failure

And on and on.. all the way to Consistent Success.

The trick is to balance the subjects so that I’m not spending more time on consuming than I am on creating. Whether you stack a big bulk of time Learning and then a big bulk of time Doing or you do a little learning then a little doing over and over DOESNT matter. It’s making sure that you increase the doing at regular intervals. The definition of action faking, at least to me, is that gluttony of wanting to experience the thrill of learning without the work/suffering of creation or sharing what you’ve learned. I’m totes rambling.. but this was all floating around in my head this week. Lol.

The metaphor I love the most is that the pursuit of any noble spiritual goal (inner peace) or any noble material goal (building a company) is EXACTLY like the difficulties we encounter when we pursue radical physical changes.

Breaking down your muscles and building them up by weightlifting is only one part of an athlete’s life. Rest is invaluable for proper cell growth as is diet. If you’re trying to reshape your entire physique you don’t do it in a day by doing exactly the same things over and over. There’s actually a scientific path of joint strength gains THEN muscle gains THEN power gains. If you don’t follow that order your chances of getting hurt increase by a lot.

Believe it or not this all relates to me taking a coding course somehow but hell if I can connect the dots now... rofl. Anyhoo I’m happy to share! :)

Strange that you're using Singapore math as an example lol
Shitty math system we have (probably one of the contributing factors to the lack of entrepreneurship and creative/abstract/critical thinking skills in this city).
Gave me tons of nightmares as a kid, of which I have never recovered from even now lol

That said, in math, I'm more of a mastery learner but in other things, I feel more of a spiral learner.
 

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Primeperiwinkle

Primeperiwinkle

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Strange that you're using Singapore math as an example lol
Shitty math system we have (probably one of the contributing factors to the lack of entrepreneurship and creative/abstract/critical thinking skills in this city).
Gave me tons of nightmares as a kid, of which I have never recovered from even now lol

That said, in math, I'm more of a mastery learner but in other things, I feel more of a spiral learner.
It’s a company not the curriculum based in the city...
 

Bekit

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I was wondering if the order we go about trying to accomplish our entrepreneur stuff is just as important as what we study/do.
Yeah, it's fascinating to think about how to apply this concept to the way I pursue entrepreneurship.

I remember how I HATED my math book when I was in 4th grade. I was an indignant little 4th grader, protesting over the "idiots" who designed my math book.

"It makes no sense!" I protested. "They give you a whole ton of one kind of problems, and then you move on and never touch those problems again. How can you learn anything like that? Why would they think that's an effective way to teach?"

(Looking back at it now, I see it was just a "mastery" style textbook.)

Then, in 5th grade, I had a math book from a different curriculum. Every lesson taught you a new concept and gave you a handful of problems on that concept. The rest of the problems in the lesson were reviewing concepts that had been introduced before. I thought that was brilliant.

(Based on your description, it seems like that was a "spiral" style textbook.)

But I had never thought to apply the concept to how I learn to be an entrepreneur. I'm going to be on the lookout for how this shows up. I'm pretty sure that it's partly related to how I like to rotate between projects, advancing whichever one I happen to be most interested in.

Language learning isn’t spiral at all though it’s more mastery. If you learn 1,000 most used words in a foreign language you’ll automatically understand something like 70% of non-fiction books in that language. Nobody starts learning a foreign language by studying philosophical terms first. We learn concrete objects and phrases that relate to concrete needs, “Where is the bathroom?” Rofl.
I totally learned Spanish in a spiral.

I learned about 100 words. Then I just started reading the Spanish New Testament. I would understand like one word per chapter. But I persevered.

Soon, I started realizing that I was seeing common words like "porque" or "dijo" over and over again. So I started wondering what they meant.

Little by little, I started realizing what they meant.

And I was reading them in the context of a story, with proper grammar.

So by the time I actually learned the more advanced grammatical structures, they already "felt right" because I had been exposed to them over and over again.

I always thought those methods that taught you the 500 or 1,000 most-used word in a language were a scam. Again, my indignant little self with my hands on my hips was like, "How would memorizing word lists benefit anyone? How could you learn like that? How could anyone think that's an effective way to teach?"

And the whole "Where is the bathroom" style of language instruction didn't work for me, either.

I didn't realize that other people learn well this way.

It still kind of boggles my mind to realize this. I always thought it was just lame, lazy teaching.

Anyway... thanks for prompting me to reflect on all this. It's going to give me something to chew on for a while.

I'm sure I'll start noticing it in other contexts.
 

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