Barriers to Effective Learning


Identify Barriers

Barriers to Effective Learning

There are a number of barriers to learning.

Some are emotional, others are motivational, and some are related to learning disabilities.

Emotional Barriers to Learning include:

  • Fear. This could be a fear of Criticism and Judgement, or a Fear of Failure and Fear of Rejection.
  • Shame. Learners could feel their work will never be as good as others, hence do not even try to succeed. 
  • Emotional Sensitivity. Emotionally sensitive learners can at times become overwhelmed and lose control of their emotions. 
  • Adjusting to Change. A person’s level of adaptability can impact on their ability and willingness to learn. 

Motivational Barriers to Learning include:

  • Out of flow. If the level of challenge is well above someone’s capability, they can become ‘paralyzed’ and under-perform. Likewise, if the challenge is too low, they can lose motivation. 
  • Lack of a Goal. An absence short and medium term goals can mean a learner drifts in a place where little is of material importance. Setting goals helps to give focus. Achieving small goals along the way can be motivational.  Begin with the end in mind. 
  • Procrastination. Some things are not always enjoyable, but are necessary. Don’t put off things that can be done today. 
  • Lack of prioritization. Some people become overwhelmed by workload. Always put first things first. 
  • Learning Environment. It is important to have the right atmosphere for learning. This could be a nice quiet place without distraction. 

Learning Disabilities include:  

  • Depression
  • Dyscalculia (where the person has trouble understanding math)
  • Dyslexia (where the person has trouble understanding the written word)
  • Dysgraphia (where the person has trouble with forming letters when writing)

People with learning disabilities process information differently to others and need to put more effort into learning compared with others. There are many famous people, including Walt Disney, Winston Churchill, and Alexander Graham Bell have all been successful despite having learning disabilities.