Associative Learning

(Capability of Connecting Puzzles)


What is the sum of the first 100 numbers?

1+2=3, 3+3=6, 6+4=10, 10+5=15, etc.

Teacher  J. G. Buttner  asked this question and when an eight-year-old boy, Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss heard him, he quickly concluded that the sums of 1+100, 2+99, 3+98 is always 101 and that there is 50 such pairs. So he gave a simple solution 50 x 101 = 5.050.

The ability to link different facts into a new set of definitions is creativity, and the learning process that leads to the development of that ability is called associative learning.

The basic difference between repetition of facts and creativity lies in the (non)ability to create a new unit from what is already known.

In linear learning, a child is able to process the facts one by one, to remember them like that and after a while to repeat the learned.

In associative learning, a child connects a fact that he is learning with a previously acquired knowledge.

It comes as a consequence not only of the ability to repeat but also ability to use that fact in different situations.

According to the same principles linear and associative learning differ in mathematics and handball.

The basic features of linear learning is the analytical approach to the game, i.e. dividing the game into individual parts and replicating the effective solutions of those parts. Coach assigns roles to players and solutions to particular situations in advance.

During the match, they are recognised by playing a cliched attack in which each player precisely performs pre-determined tasks, and in defence by automated movements on pre-set lines. Practices mainly consist of automating coach’s ideas and practicing the simplest solutions.

While such approach of the coaches working with senior teams is somewhat understandable due to the pressure of the results and the lack of learning time or the deeply rooted habits of senior players, there is no reasonable justification for working with children in such a way.

4 Responses

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