As we’ve looked at the brain and lifelong learning this month, there is one important fact we have yet to explore—that lifelong learning is fun. If you enter the words “learning” and “children” in any search engine you will receive thousands of posts on the topic of the importance of learning being fun. Then, check out any website aimed at children, from ABCmouse to the American Museum of Natural History’s Ology, and you will understand that fun is considered a requirement of childhood learning. Why and when did that stop being true for adults?
More Than A Slogan
For many of us learning has taken on a negative connotation. If you grew up struggling through school, if you have developed a perspective of education being a means to an end, if you’ve never sought out adult education simply for the fun of it, you’ve been missing out. Learning, as the slogan says, is fun. If you’re not having fun, then you should try a different course of study or different method of learning. Learning can be and should be fun for everyone.
Stay Curious and Keep Coming Back
Think I’m joking? According to the folks at Growth Engineering, fun has been scientifically proven to make for better learning. They say, “fun has a positive effect on motivation levels, determining what we learn and how much we retain. If the experience is fun, learners will stay curious and keep coming back for more.”
- A study in the journal, College Teaching, found that students could recall a statistics lecture more easily when the lecturer added jokes about relevant topics.
- In her book, Neurologist, Judy Willis showed how fun experiences increase levels of dopamine, endorphins, and oxygen—all things that promote learning.
- In a study for the Journal of Vocational Behaviour, Michael Tews found that employees are more likely to try new things if their work environment is fun.
- Dr. Laura Kubansky has undertaken research which demonstrates that fun is good for your health.
- Many influential researchers (Dulay & Burt, 1977; Krashen, 1982) have found evidence that people learn better when they’re feeling strong positive emotions.
One Two Punch
Combining the benefits of lifelong learning with the benefits of having fun is the one two punch that will keep your mind, body, and spirit functioning at 100% for 100 years! Start thinking of yourself as a lifelong learner! Starting today, function at 100:100, your best for a lifetime. Let the fun begin by finding a 100 Year Lifestyle provider to help you with your journey!