*Vertical Learning, Horizontal Learning,*and

*Connective Learning.*

Vertical Learning is the process of learning in a step by
step linear fashion. You begin with the basics and build on the basics with
successively more complicated concepts, skills, tasks, etc. Learning math is an
example of this process. Additional and subtraction leads to algebra with leads
to calculus, and so on. Vertical Learning is typical in the martial arts where
basic skills are taught to beginning students and more advanced skills are
taught to students that have mastered the basics. Colored belts that designate
rank is typically a mark of Vertical Learning.

Step 1 -> Step 2 -> Step 3 -> Step 4

Horizontal Learning is the process of learning additional
concepts, skills, tasks, etc. that are independent of prior learning. Using
math again, learning geometry is separate from learning statistics. One area
does not necessarily build upon the other. In the martial arts, Horizontal Learning
is seen by successive learning of different unrelated styles of martial arts.
The person who has a belts in Karate, BJJ, Aikido, and Tai Chi is using
Horizontal Learning.

Subject A + Subject B + Subject C + Subject D

The third method is Connective Learning. Connective Learning
is the process of integrating and networking concepts, skills, tasks, etc.
together to achieve understanding. Connective Learning is about building the understanding
of the relationships between different concepts, skills, and tasks. The math
example is seeing the relation of the common principles between geometry,
statistics, and calculus. The martial artist that is able to relate the
outwardly differing elements of various styles together to create unifying
principles is using Connective Learning process.

Intelligence is defined as the ability to acquire and apply
knowledge and skills. Acquiring and applying is a form processing. Therefore,
intelligence is the ability to process knowledge and skills. The brain is the
body’s central processor. It uses an estimated 100 billion brain cells that
each hold bits of information and communicate with each other to store
information, knowledge, and execute tasks. The more efficiently these cells
communicate (integrate/network) with each other the greater the processing
power (intelligence).

Now imagine that Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Subject A,
Subject B, Subject C, Subject D are all “bits of information” stored in Cells.
Connective Learning is the process of interconnecting (integrating) these Cells
together as efficiency as possible. If each connection is represented by a
line, Vertical Learning uses three lines to connect four Steps. Horizontal
Learning uses three lines to connect four Subjects. But Connective Learning is
the process of developing the permutations (relationships, integrations,
connectivity) between these Cells. How many different permutations can come
from 8 different Cells? The answer is 40,320! Therefore, effective Connective
Learning requires highlighting the “best” permutations.

The teaching of Connective Learning begins after the student
has acquired some basic “intelligence” from either Vertical Learning or
Horizontal Learning. At that point, the student needs to understand that he or
she is now developing connectivity as opposed to either a more complex skill or
an additional skill. Therefore, a key part of the Connective Learning process
is the basic understanding of these three types of learning.