Is learning supposed to be hard?

Whenever I hear someone talking about how proud they are about learning something because it was hard, I think to myself that they’re doing it wrong.

Why is it supposed to be hard? I feel like if you thought a subject was hard, you probably weren’t prepared for it. You need to go back and do the prerequisites. For the most part it should be easy, and if you aren’t enjoying it, you’re not going about it the right way.

it’s hard when you have no interest in it. Once you develop interest you can learn more in 1 hour than an entire semester of forced knowledge.

The problem is how to develop an interest. Does forced schooling engender interest over time? At what time do you give up and move to a different subject?

Study something else? Or maybe just do something physical for a living.

Or if you hate it so much you can just fail the subject with no major life consequences.

My experience with teaching math: most students think that math is “hard” . . . so they make it hard for themselves.

Primary source of it being “hard” is the idea that they shouldn’t need to think about things and trying to have stuff “make sense”. They approach it with the idea that “if I don’t ‘get it’ when it’s presented; then it’s hard”.

It also doesn’t help when you have teachers that don’t really know the underlying material at a deeper level than “this is how it’s done” . . . so when kids don’t “get it,” there’s very little dialogue going on by the teacher to understand where the kid is coming from.


MAS-1 is hard any way you slice it

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is it? I used to write for that exam :heart:

Two things that have really helped my learning. 1) I’ve watched a learning how to learn video series a couple of times and recently, taken a problem solving course. Both have been enlightening. I should’ve taken both back when I was 19, would’ve made a huge difference.
All those times I thought I was prepared for tests, I wasn’t. And all those math problems with ‘tricks’, turns out they didn’t really have tricks.



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So I can blame you for all of the misery I endured?!?! :nerd_face:

AAALRIGHT! Let’s get started!
The prof is amazing.


Thank you for the link. I never saw a math professor so animated!!

Idk. I want to learn to quilt and it doesn’t look easy. I am doing a lot to prepare—watching videos, trying some small stuff before I jump into a more traditional quilt, and I will probably be proud of myself if I succeed.

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Yeah, that guy is a legend at the school. I had him for a class last term, it was exciting. Everything is in caps. PROOF! etc.

How I keep wanting to read this post . . . like trying to stop smoking . . .

And then the rest of the post became a bit more humorous in this light . . . it also made be think that I had misread it to start with :grimacing:

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Just wanted to come back and say that I am making my way through the videos and it is helping me improve my approach to studying. Thank you for again for sharing
Will I be able to get the great I want rather than the grade I think I will get ?
Hopefully, but time will tell…

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Yeah, the more I watch the videos and work smarter, the more I realize that the only thing standing between me and 100’s is time. Which is why I now maintain that people that get outstanding grades aren’t necessarily smart, they’re just people who bust their asses studying.

Next up, I just bought a copy of the book ‘how to solve it’. Written in 1945, apparently it’s the pinnacle of learning how to solve math problems.

This is the book I referenced in another thread.

George Polya is sort of the gold standard within mathematics education circles (at least, he was when I was a doctoral student).

Got halfway through the first one. Not for me.