There are two ways to learn. They are passive learning and active learning. Passive learning is done by memorization and understanding. It is learned by watching someone else or thinking a situation through. Examples of passive learning include reading, listening to a speech and watching TV. Active learning is learning by doing and experimenting.
Active learning requires self-motivation, commitment and an ability to learn from errors. Active learning is accomplished by personal experience and by applying knowledge you have been given. Examples of active learning include practicing on the croma-key, reporting, and storm chasing.
There are three stages of learning. They are (1) memorization, (2) understanding and (3) applying. Memorization is the lowest stage (regurgitation). Although it is the lowest stage, attainment of the higher stages is not possible without it (although memorization and understanding can occur at the same time). Applying is the highest stage of learning. You must first go through the stages of memorization and understanding before getting to the application stage. Here is an example: (1) Memorization: It is colder in the winter than the summer in the mid-latitudes, (2) Understanding: It is colder in the winter than the summer in the mid-latitudes because of the tilt of the earth. Less solar radiation in the winter decreases temperatures, (3) Application: If the earth increased in tilt from 23.5 degrees to 30.0 degrees, winter temperatures in the mid-latitudes would even be colder.
Many students find forecasting to be difficult. This is because learning to forecast involves active learning and application. A student can not learn to become a successful forecaster by watching someone else forecast. The greatest strides in forecasting knowledge are found when the student does their own forecasting (active participation). Forecasting is also a pure application process. A student can not learn to forecast by memorizing the weather and even students that understand meteorology may not be successful forecasters. Forecasting is an example of application because the weather changes everyday. Your meteorology knowledge must be applied and adjusted to a new situation each day. Never will two forecasting processes be exactly the same.