Back in school, I was not a fan of long-form standardized assessments of any form. My least favorite types of problems to encounter were “Recognizing Visual Patterns” where you were tasked with having to select what the next pattern would be in a series. I dreaded these! I recently took a similar assessment called Mindprint, which was something the school I work at was rolling out for its students, and administration took the assessment to get a sense of how it worked.
The purpose of Mindprint is to assess how people learn opposed to assessing what they know. The results offer insights on how to help educators differentiate for students in the classroom. Oddly enough, I did rather well (at least better than expected) on the Recognizing Visual Patterns portion of the assessment despite all the nostalgic test anxiety I experienced. The most important thing I learned from taking the assessment was that how I learned has definitely changed over time. It appears as though I’ve become more well-versed at learning over time. How I take in information has evolved.
This got me thinking about the why behind the reason. I feel that my perspective has changed a great deal over time. How I look at my experiences has changed therefore how I learn from my experiences has changed. Although it’s still very much a work in progress, and I still statistically fail far more than I succeed, in hindsight, when I’ve been able to remain objective in situations, even when emotions are high, that’s when my best decisions have been made. When I removed myself (my ego and my emotions) from the experience and became an objective participant.
The pattern recognition that now matters most to me is knowing that the success rate of knowing what comes next relies mostly on me knowing the past patterns that both have and haven’t worked. Experience can only be the best teacher only if we are open to learning from it.