Do children learn more quickly than adults?
Small children seem to learn very quickly, while adults sometimes appear to lose the ability to pick up new subject such as languages, music, games, or computer programs. In this essay, I will discuss whether children or adults make the best learners.
It is undoubtedly true that children seem to learn very quickly. In just a few years, they can learn how to play a musical instrument, speak one or even two new languages, and deal with many subjects at school. They even have time for sports and hobbies, and become experts in their favorite pastimes. However, how much of this is social pressure and how much is genetic? I am convinced that while children’s brains have a natural ability to absorb new information as part of their developmental growth, much of their achievement is because of social pressure. Schools force them to take many subjects. Parents force them to practice new sports or to learn music. Even their playmates force them to become better at computer games or to read Harry Potter novels faster. In summary, children may enjoy learning, but their environment also is a big motivating factor.
Adults on the other hand are supposed to be poor learners. However, I disagree with people who say that adults cannot learn quickly. Adults have many skills that compensate for the decline in the ability of the brain to grasp and remember new material. They can organize their learning by setting times for reading or practice. They can build on skills and experiences they know already. Adults usually cannot learn to do ballet or to play the violin, but even despite these physical challenges, their motivation can often be higher than a child’s. Unfortunately, society does not encourage many adults to learn. People are busy with families and work, and some adults may feel that further learning is pointless, since they have already achieved many goals at work or in their personal life.
In conclusion, I feel that we cannot generalize about children or adults being better learners. It depends on the situation and the motivation of the person, and the level of enthusiasm he or she has for learning.
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