Accelerated learning is not new, but Robert Chapman of The Training Camp argues that its time has come.
Accelerated learning is anti-method, and anti-technique and therefore challenges the 'one size fits all' approach of conventional learning.
The modern notion of accelerated learning has been formed by a number of 20th century influences, notably Bulgarian psychiatrist Georgi Lozanov and the US-based International Alliance for Learning.
It is designed to appeal to the whole personality, taking the developing nature of both the workplace and contemporary culture into account.
It makes a conscious attempt to move away from training approaches that are overly inflexible or overly serious and ultimately, there are no specific techniques, methods or media.
Accelerated learning can use all, or a combination, of methods, which is how it can appeal, and work for, so many different types of student.
Written like this, this concept can sound bewilderingly zen-like. But put simply accelerated learning is all about simply doing what works, and constantly looking for ways to do it better.
Accelerated learning believes that:
ß Collaboration is good
ß Learning is made easier by getting involved in the learning process
ß Learning is about creating knowledge, not just being force-fed information
ß Actively doing is better than passively watching a presentation
ß It's faster
Does it work?
The acid test of any learning method is does it actually work? I believe the majority of people who have been on an accelerated learning course would say that yes, it does, and this is backed up by the results.
We find that students of accelerated learning can have an 85% success rate in terms of passing exams at the end of their course. This goes back to the point made earlier - it's about producing results backed up by real experience, and knowledge of the subject in hand.
Accelerated learning in 2004
While the concept of accelerated learning is not new, its time has most definitely come.
After all, conventional learning methods used to be all about the I-tell-you-listen format, formulaic and rigid.
Today, however, the training goal is not to teach responses to automatons, the emphasis is on teaching people to think.
And not just think - the emphasis is also on teaching people to solve problems, to innovate, to create and of course, to ultimately learn continuously.
It's not for nothing that business gurus have been espousing the dawn of the knowledge worker.
* Recommended reading: The Accelerated Learning Fieldbook by Lou Russell.