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Learning through insight

    This is about really understanding a subject matter in order to acquire knowledge.

    • You can equate learning through insight with what is called cognitive learning. This is because in order to gain insight, people have to use their cognitive abilities such as their imagination and introspection, i.e. self-reflection. Only then can they succeed in recognizing and understanding the connection between a cause and the resulting effect.
    • In the search for a solution to a problem, someone who learns through insight quite suddenly becomes aware of the solution and it becomes clear. The term “a light has dawned on me” describes this state quite well. This phenomenon is also often referred to as the “aha” effect.
    • For this to happen, a person often has to change his or her way of looking at things in order to reach insight. The insight comes through reflection and a restructuring or reorganization of the situation and the problem.
    • It is not a matter of constantly repeating or memorizing what has been learned until it sticks in the mind. Through insight and the associated aha effect, knowledge reveals itself immediately and cannot be forgotten again.
    • Wolfgang Köhler called this the “all-or-nothing” principle, because either a context is understood or not. Those who understand contexts can also adapt their behavior accordingly in a targeted manner, i.e. restructure, in order to solve a problem and act without error.
    • So, for example, if a student is confronted with a mathematical problem, it is not enough for them to solve a task by memorizing and repeating the solution path – because that way they will fail again at a modified problem. Rather, they need to understand the entire mathematical background and how it works according to the principle of “trial & error” in order to be able to solve the problem again and again, even in a modified form.