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Culture & Religion

Learning How to Learn

Much of what we were taught in school about how to learn has been shown to be comparatively ineffective, so what actually works?

One of the proudest moments this blog has brought me was discovering the search term that has brought me the most new readers from Google is “how to learn,” closely followed by “learning techniques” and  the inspiration for this post  “learning how to learn.” My post titled: “The lesson you never got taught in school: How to learn!” has been read hundreds of thousands of times (far more than most of my posts) and many of these readers come from Google  unlike the majority of my readers who typically arrive here after my regular readers share my posts on Facebook and Twitter (for which I am eternally grateful).

The runaway success of this post implies that the headline was not much of an exaggeration. Most of us really never did get taught evidence based learning techniques. If we did get taught learning techniques, what we were taught probably wasn’t actually backed by any research evidence, we were likely told to use techniques such as highlighting, summarizing and rereading that have been handed down unquestioningly through the ages and been shown to be comparatively ineffective.

Now, just in time for Christmas, a completely free course has been put together titled: Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects. The course  which is offered by The University of California San Diego is four weeks long and begins on 2nd January 2015. Watch the creator of the UC San Diego course, Barbara Oakley, give a taster on the science of how to learn below:

If you’re stuck for what to get someone this Christmas, or you missed the Christmas post, I can’t think of a better (or a cheaper) gift than the gift of how to learn!

Footnote: I have no affiliation with UC San Diego or TEDx and I have not been paid or asked to promote this course – I discovered it through serendipity, will be taking it myself and wanted to share it with my readers. 

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