The main problem with education
Whether it's at school or university, the one thing no one ever teaches you is how to teach yourself. All you actually do is memorize information in order to regurgitate when you take the test. You get drilled on how to solve specific exercises so that while you know exactly what you need to do when exam time comes around, do you truly understand the subject material? All you've really learned is how to pass that one test. Once that test is over, the information in your head has outlived its usefulness.
Conclusion: Knowing how to study is absolutely essential, but for some reason, this point is too often overlooked. So, what can we do to remedy this?
There are certain techniques and exercises that can be applied to the learning process to help make it more efficient and engaging. This is exactly what we do at Practicum.
Five Strategies from Barbara Oakley
Two Ways of Thinking
Deep understanding comes from being able to toggle back and forth between focused and diffused thinking.
Improving your ability to remember key bits of information help to connect different part of the brain.
When you learn multiple skills at the same time, they reinforce each other.
When listening to your teacher, think up a good question, something that you're really itching to know.
Illusion of Competence
Test yourself, write it down, tell other people, and repeat the process in different settings. Only then can you be truly certain you've understood something.
For lovers of procrastination
Barbara Oakley’s story.
Math didn't come naturally to Barbara in childhood. She thought of herself as more of a humanities person, and not a brilliant one at that. With an eye to becoming a linguist, after school she enlisted in the army, who sent her to learn Russian. After several years of service, during which she rose to the rank of Captain, Barbara left the army and decided to study engineering. In was during this time that she developed her learning methodology as she was forced to reprogram her brain for a different kind of learning. It turns out that when something doesn't come naturally to you, having to work hard to gain the knowledge that other people may get at first glance gives you a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.
The Feynman Technique
Learn without forgetting.More →
Facts and figures
On learning and the brain
The number of neurons in the human brain
The number of adults with low reading proficiency
World Bank, 2017
Human information storage capacity
The number of nerve synapses responsible for learning in an adult human
The number of adults under 25 with insufficient education for finding employment
World Bank, 2017
17 - 20 years old
Peak learning age
Development of the forgetting curve
Publication of Ivan Pavlov's research on classical conditioning
The One World Schoolhouse
Sal Khan's passion and innovation is transforming learning for millions of students worldwide. The One World Schoolhouse is a must-read for all who are committed to improving education so students everywhere can gain the skills and knowledge to be successful in school, careers and life.
Ten principles of rapid skill acquisition
by Josh Kaufman
Choose a lovable project.
Focus your energy on one skill at a time.
Define your target performance level.
Deconstruct the skill into sub-skills.
Obtain critical tools.
Eliminate barriers to practice.
Make dedicated time for practice.
Create fast feedback loops.
Practice by the clock in short bursts.
Emphasize quantity and speed.
Further materials on learning techniques and hacks.