Is It Easier for Children to Learn Than Adults?

Short answer: no.

It is not “easier to learn when you are young”. People learn when they are excited about the things that they want to learn.

Young children learn a lot, but they learn a lot of basics. They need these things to function. They are excited about the world and want to know as much as they can. They are open to anything.

As people get older, their understanding of the world becomes more concrete, and more abstract. The things that people learn when they are older, are far more complicated, so it takes longer. But, they aren’t less able to learn.

Here’s what actually can be a hindrance to learning:

1) Maturity. If your brain is not yet ready to learn the material, either because it has not yet developed (people’s brains develop well into their 20’s) or it is still trying to work on other things before moving to the new thing, then it will be hard to learn that new thing. When your brain is ready, it will be easy to learn. For example, learning to talk. Or to walk. Or to do complicated statistical analysis. You can’t make a 1 year old talk no matter how hard you try. Their brains aren’t ready.
2) Self-esteem. If you think you’re dumb, or unable to do something, it will hinder learning
3) Interest. If you don’t have the interest, it will hinder learning
4) Meaning. If the thing you are learning doesn’t have meaning in your life, it will be a hindrance
5) The way it’s presented. If the thing you are learning is being presented in a way that doesn’t jive with your learning style, it can be a hindrance
6) Expectations. If you are taught that things are THIS WAY and you accept that, when faced with new data and new evidence, the “there is a right answer” way of thinking can be a hindrance to learning.
7) Not wanting to be wrong. If you never want to be wrong, or are afraid of being wrong, it is a hindrance to learning.
8) Supportive people in life. Not having people in your life who support you as a person is a hindrance to learning.
9) School. Thinking that school, classrooms and academics is the only way to learn, is a hindrance to learning.
10) Self-reliance. If you are unable to identify and take care of your own needs, it will be a hindrance to your learning.

Age is, and isn’t, a hindrance to learning. It just depends on what age has brought. Has it brought wisdom and openness, or has it brought rigidness and insecurity?


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