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The Nature of Learning

In early primary school I was mis-labelled as having “learning difficulties”. I couldn’t sit still at a desk for long carrying out some mind numbing bollocks of a worksheet (I still can’t) and struggled to conform with a conventional school day. I eventually learned to cope with the system but I’d be lying if I said I was ok. I craved play.

Just like my 6 year old self, I still need movement and to connect with my learning visually, kinaesthetically and build those neuro-transmitters from being exposed to the elements of nature. That’s not a “learning difficulty”, it’s just my learning style. As it is for millions if not billions of you out there.

Through developing our safety and swimming skills outdoors as both children and adults we are fulfilling the Scottish Government’s Outdoor Learning vision:

“The multi-sensory experience outdoors helps children and young people to retain knowledge more effectively. There are opportunities for pupils to learn with their whole bodies on a large scale.”

Monika Bresler in full flow last week, with views of Mull beyond.

I don’t believe that we lose these natural mechanisms as we grow older. This is why I’m passionate about my holistic approaches to coaching and guiding my wild swimmers. Learning, like life, isn’t linear.

Not only is wild swimming in cold water total for both body and mind, I believe it’s uniquely placed in helping us to strengthen cognitive function and connections in the brain. In turn our creativity, critical thinking and memory can be fortified through this ancient activity.

I am at my most optimal creative self following an immersive front crawl swim in nature so I’m excited to observe our artists for the Argyll Hope Spot residency this summer.

My services have been acquired by Argyll Hope Spot to facilitate coaching and safety cover for visiting artists from a variety of styles and disciplines who will explore beneath the waves over two weekends in July. Hope Spots are special places, vital for the ocean’s health, linked by the international organisation Mission Blue. The Argyll & Islands Hope Spot, in my immediate locality, is the first in mainland U.K and part of a growing global network which also includes the Galápagos Islands and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

We all learn differently and some are more adaptable than others but the bottom line is that we never lose our intrinsic tendency to learning best through engaging with the natural world. Embrace your inner child and immerse your senses.

Chan eil thu tuilleach 's sean airson ionnsachadh fhathast.

Click here if you’d like to join me

Into the wild. Into the water.


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