Here’s why some learners never improve

Despite working with countless learners of all ages over the years, some seem to never improve.

My comprehensive learning system for higher-order self-regulated learning was created in 2015. By 2016, I realized that very few people can learn it.

In part, this was due to my lack of experience in training others to use the new system. Improving my teaching and delivery greatly improved my students' success, but many were still unable to master this tool.

After five years of investigating factors that influenced my students’ success and failure, I developed the term enablers of learning: factors that sit outside of pure learning skills that have a significant impact on a person’s ability to learn effectively.

Learning Enablers

In order to achieve efficient and effective learning, enablers of learning are essential. These are the qualities and skills that enable someone to acquire new knowledge and skills and apply them consistently. Individuals can stay motivated and engaged in their learning journey with the help of enablers. Without them, learning becomes difficult, frustrating, and ineffective.

Growth mindset, time management, task prioritization, focus, and reflective experiential practice are some of the most common enablers.

Unfortunately, enablers are frequently overlooked due to their intangible nature. Textbooks and other learning materials do not provide the same level of self-awareness and introspection as enablers, meaning that individuals (even experienced teachers, I included in 2015) may not be cognizant of the significance of enablers or understand how to develop them. Furthermore, traditional educational systems often neglect to explicitly teach such broader skills like time management, task prioritization, and reflective experiential practice. As a result, there is an overemphasis on academic achievement at the cost of more comprehensive growth.

Additionally, learners may find it difficult to develop enablers on their own. This is a challenging process because, unlike learning a specific skill, such as coding or writing, developing enablers requires continuous effort and attention. Without t