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Learn Better

Learn Better

Author(s) Ulrich Boser
Publisher Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony/Rodale
Published 2019-09-03
ISBN 9780593135310
Page Count304
Language en
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For centuries, experts have argued that learning was about memorizing information: You're supposed to study facts, dates, and details; burn them into your memory; and then apply that knowledge at opportune times. But this approach to learning isn't nearly enough for the world that we live in today, and in Learn Better journalist and education researcher Ulrich Boser demonstrates that how we learn can matter just as much as what we learn.

In this brilliantly researched book, Boser maps out the new science of learning, showing how simple techniques like comprehension check-ins and making material personally relatable can help people gain expertise in dramatically better ways. He covers six key steps to help you "learn how to learn," all illuminated with fascinating stories like how Jackson Pollock developed his unique painting style and why an ancient Japanese counting device allows kids to do math at superhuman speeds. Boser's witty, engaging writing makes this book feel like a guilty pleasure, not homework.

Learn Better
will revolutionize the way students and society alike approach learning and makes the case that being smart is not an innate ability--learning is a skill everyone can master. With Boser as your guide, you will be able to fully capitalize on your brain's remarkable ability to gain new skills and open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Notes & Quotes

NE nekoprograms added a note 2 days, 15 hours ago:

I read latter half of the first chapter of Learn Better, titled Value, one of the six ingredients of learning better. Boser communicated several interesting anecdotes including that of the mental abacus: mind-body connection, the muy-thai corkscrew punch: learning by doing, feeling more American in Germany and more German in America: the affect of social environment on learning, the MET research study by Bill Gates: effective teachers encourage students to make learning connections and provide motivation & support to students.

NE nekoprograms added a note 2 days, 15 hours ago:

There is a social element to learning, where having a group can boost motivation, etc.

NE nekoprograms added a note 6 days, 20 hours ago:

In the first chapter of Learn Better, Boser begins discussing the element of meaning within value. He describes us seekers and that we principally do things because we find meaning in them. He also introduces the concept of learn crafting, where we tailor the learning or application of learning to ourselves, thus embedding meaning into learning and resulting in better learning. The chapter contained sentiments about utilizing learn crafting and embedding meaning into our work. A story about hospital janitorial staff was shared. The story followed a researcher who who questioned the staff about why they did their job and found that many staff found significant personal meaning in their job, and those that did were much more engaged and happy.

NE nekoprograms added a quote 6 days, 21 hours ago:

For my part, I’ve come to view motivation as a fire. It needs an emotional spark in order to flame up, but without management, it can quickly die down—or grow out of control.

NE nekoprograms added a note 6 days, 21 hours ago:

We learn most effectively when concepts are broken down into discrete chunks. But for it to be meaningful to us, and thus have value, there needs to be some choice embedded into the learning process. Choice also provides stronger motivation and and engagement than a traditional linear curriculum. This is why Google is so successful at tackling various fields. They give their employees the autonomy to use learn crafting to formulate products and software.

NE nekoprograms added a quote 6 days, 21 hours ago:

They called the approach “job crafting,” and it has a basic message: Shift your job to fit your interests. If you’re an extrovert working at a library, craft your job so that you’re a part-time tour guide for the library. Employed at a nonprofit firm and love data? Consider helping the marketing staff analyze trends as a way to boost donations. pg. 28

NE nekoprograms added a note 1 week ago:

In the introduction, Ulrich Boser shares how he found himself pursuing how to learn better. He talks about a study at a Catholic girl's school where 3 teams were instructed to play darts. The team who used a learning method excelled the most. This and references to other scientific basis serve as his foundation for learning better. One of the learning techniques Boser introduces is quizzing oneself, which reminded me of spaced repetition flashcards I originally encountered while studying Japanese. He goes on to outline the structure of his book, and the system for developing expertise: VTDERR Value - in order to learn we must see the benefit Target - set goals and targets to maintain focus Develop - practice is key, but some forms of practice are more effective than others Extend - application of knowledge Relate - fit the knowledge together like a puzzle and its pieces Rethink - reconsider what you learned and revisit it. It is easy to make mistakes and mix things up