counter create hit Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything

Availability: Ready to download

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 demons 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.


Compare
Ads Banner

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 demons 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.

30 review for Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ulrich

    Let me be honest: I’m a biased reviewer. In fact, I wrote this book. But GoodReads is giving me the chance to say a few words, and other people whose opinions that I trust have been saying good things about the book. Publisher's Weekly called Learn Better "engaging" and "thought-provoking,” while author Walter Isaacson said the book was "alternately humorous, surprising, and profound.” My goals with the book were pretty simple, and I aimed to translate the new science of learning, to make it more Let me be honest: I’m a biased reviewer. In fact, I wrote this book. But GoodReads is giving me the chance to say a few words, and other people whose opinions that I trust have been saying good things about the book. Publisher's Weekly called Learn Better "engaging" and "thought-provoking,” while author Walter Isaacson said the book was "alternately humorous, surprising, and profound.” My goals with the book were pretty simple, and I aimed to translate the new science of learning, to make it more accessible and informative, to describe how people learn to learn. The result—I hope—is a narrative introduction into the research of how people gain new skills and knowledge. Did I succeed? Did I fail? Want to give me feedback? Send me a note at ulrich @ ulrichboser. com

  2. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Professor of Something: "Learn Better" by Ulrich Boser “The act of writing is a good example of metacognition because when we think about composing sentences and paragraphs, we’re often asking ourselves crucial metacognitive questions: Who will be reading this? Will they understand me? What things do I need to explain? This is why writing is often such an effective way to organize one’s thoughts. It forces us to evaluate our arguments If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Professor of Something: "Learn Better" by Ulrich Boser “The act of writing is a good example of metacognition because when we think about composing sentences and paragraphs, we’re often asking ourselves crucial metacognitive questions: Who will be reading this? Will they understand me? What things do I need to explain? This is why writing is often such an effective way to organize one’s thoughts. It forces us to evaluate our arguments and think about ideas. […] some describe writing as a form of “applied metacognition”.   In “Learn Better” by Ulrich Boser     When I was a kid, we played football (the European version; I hate the word soccer) all day and must have been well over 10K hours. None of us got near even semi pro football. My son could do sprint training for 4 hours every night but he's not going to be Usain Bolt. There are thousands of musicians who have put in the practice but they're all on the 9 to 5 as well like myself (well, I’m more on the 08:30 to no-end-in-sight schedule, but that’s just me being my usual obnoxious self…). Are we supposed to believe a la Gladwell that if we put in 10K hours we’ll become experts at something? I don’t believe this number, and neither does Boser. I think it’s just a number which Gladwell thought would look good in one of his books (I forget which).   What about thinking about learning? Is there something there?  

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matt Root

    There's good content here. But it's one of those 'popular science' books that's about 90% anecdotes. Some people learn well from this way of writing, but I find it tiresome.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dillon

    Pretty good - I think it was longer than it needed to be, but the examples did a good job of illustrating the benefits of putting into action the methods described within each chapter. So the ways we learn better are: value - see the value in what you're learning. If your disengaged out of principle, it's unlikely you'll learn much in your activity. If you're not interested, you're telling your brain not to learn. target - know what it is you want to learn and target your learning goals every sess Pretty good - I think it was longer than it needed to be, but the examples did a good job of illustrating the benefits of putting into action the methods described within each chapter. So the ways we learn better are: value - see the value in what you're learning. If your disengaged out of principle, it's unlikely you'll learn much in your activity. If you're not interested, you're telling your brain not to learn. target - know what it is you want to learn and target your learning goals every session. Having a measurable outcome quite increases one's ability. develop - get rapid feedback on what you need to improve. Use recall and self-quizzing as much as possible. Tutoring is super-effective. Take lessons if you can, they help! extend - typically we hit plateaus or places where we're comfortable with our ability but still not as good as we can get. Train near the edges of your understanding or current capacity in order to stretch said capacity. Deliberate practice, you've probably heard it before. 600,000 minutes, or 36 million seconds, if you prefer. relate - draw connections, use analogies, make sense of the seemingly disparate information you're receiving and try to paint a cohesive picture. We store relationships and connections between concepts much better than isolated facts. rethink - reflect on what you've learned. Take time for silence. Let your background brain do some work too. Use the power of recall and spaced repetition systems such as Anki to really cement what you know. Our brains are naturally sort of leaky, so common reflection is necessary to truly absorb information. Consolidate what you know. Visualize if applicable. Rethink your learning process. Think about thinking. Some similar takeaways to the Coursera course Learning How to Learn, which I really loved, but this book is also worth reading even if you've taken the course.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    It was okay. Some useful content but not well written and in desperate need of a better editor. Frequent typos, absent or poorly placed words hampered meaning and discredited the author's claims of expertise. Could have easily been summarized in one well-written blog post rather than filling a whole book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    The biggest issue I had with the book is that it never seemed to know if it was geared at school learning (students, teachers, parents, etc) or adult learning (learning new skills, information, etc). There would be long passages about adult learning (what I'm interested in) that would end in 'and this is how it applies to a chemistry test.' Some of the examples were condescending (I bet you don't know the capital of Australia! Or how a toilet works!) and while the little pop quizzes illustrated The biggest issue I had with the book is that it never seemed to know if it was geared at school learning (students, teachers, parents, etc) or adult learning (learning new skills, information, etc). There would be long passages about adult learning (what I'm interested in) that would end in 'and this is how it applies to a chemistry test.' Some of the examples were condescending (I bet you don't know the capital of Australia! Or how a toilet works!) and while the little pop quizzes illustrated a point about school learning, by the last chapter I was bored since they rarely referenced anything beyond the first chapter. There were also better and more interesting resources the author could've used, like Taylor's learning cycle which just ended up feeling like lazy research. Despite the author touting his use of a freelance editor, I wonder if they didn't see the "Relate" chapter. The chapter used the word "analogy" to talk about SAT analogies (bird is to nest like...), metaphors (reflecting on Einstein's journey may give more perspective), and critical thinking (what is true, possibly true, probably not true, and ridiculous about Holy Blood, Holy Grail's arguments). The book references some good research but I can't in good faith recommend it, especially if you know anything about adult learning. If you're interested in school learning and reforming the way things are taught, then you may get a little out of it, but I'm sure there are better books about the trouble with American education. And as a manifesto to change education (which the epilogue felt like a bit), it lacked clarity and a driving call to action.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    Learning is a skill. You can get better at it. Boser can help you discover how. This is a readable, well-paced, organized introduction to the scientific literature on learning. Occasionally a bit heavy on anecdote (much like Malcolm Gladwell), but overall quite informative. It focuses mostly on the big picture, explaining in a general sense how learning occurs and how to structure your approach to learning in a global sense. Some specific practices are recommended, such as spaced repetition and Learning is a skill. You can get better at it. Boser can help you discover how. This is a readable, well-paced, organized introduction to the scientific literature on learning. Occasionally a bit heavy on anecdote (much like Malcolm Gladwell), but overall quite informative. It focuses mostly on the big picture, explaining in a general sense how learning occurs and how to structure your approach to learning in a global sense. Some specific practices are recommended, such as spaced repetition and self-quizzing, but these really aren't the focus. The back of the book contains some useful summaries, strategies, and bibliography. Probably the most significant point this book makes is that in order to learn well, people need to think about and monitor their own learning. So, for example, in attempting to learn German, I ought to identify priority objectives, devise a systematic plan for learning, keep regular tabs on how my learning is progressing, and occasionally reflect on or tweak my process. This "metacognition," taking a step back and thinking about thinking, not only helps someone learn a particular task better, but also improves the person's ability to learn in general.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ziyad Khesbak

    Ultimately, it is lacking in writing quality and meanders with its stories, following formulaic non-fiction format of "This person knows ____. He is a ___ at ___ University and studies ____. Once upon a time, he was ____ and wondered ____, which led him to study ____ and discover ____." Over and over. Regardless, Boser provides a narrative format to learning research better served in a well-structured text such as "The ABCs of Learning" which I absolutely loved and does a more robust job of inte Ultimately, it is lacking in writing quality and meanders with its stories, following formulaic non-fiction format of "This person knows ____. He is a ___ at ___ University and studies ____. Once upon a time, he was ____ and wondered ____, which led him to study ____ and discover ____." Over and over. Regardless, Boser provides a narrative format to learning research better served in a well-structured text such as "The ABCs of Learning" which I absolutely loved and does a more robust job of interpreting the research than Boser's arbitrary assumptions. Additionally, I am not sure that his categorizations of learning progress, "Value, Target, Develop, Extend, Relate, Rethink" and necessarily accurate and need to follow in succession rather than in parallel. This is a good introductory text and a quick read (noting for a moment that its individual points regarding learning techniques are perfectly accurate) but for those more interested, there are better books.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    I enjoyed reading this. There's some very valuable information and examples on better learning techniques. Some are very obvious but... I recommend!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Taylor attaway

    I will caveat this by saying I am probably the wrong audience for this book, since I read a lot of this type of book, and I studied cognitive psychology as part of my grad school curriculum. But I hated this book. It uses/overused the most trite practices of pop science books in a way that will annoy anyone with any knowledge of the subject. He repackages established learning theories by giving anecdotes from contemporary researchers instead of referencing the more established terminology. If thi I will caveat this by saying I am probably the wrong audience for this book, since I read a lot of this type of book, and I studied cognitive psychology as part of my grad school curriculum. But I hated this book. It uses/overused the most trite practices of pop science books in a way that will annoy anyone with any knowledge of the subject. He repackages established learning theories by giving anecdotes from contemporary researchers instead of referencing the more established terminology. If this is the only book you will ever read, that's fine. If you want to know more, then using the established terminology would be helpful. Examples: calling it "the forgetting curve" instead of Ebbinghaus's forgetting curve." Calling it spaced practice instead of spaced repetition. Doing a whole page on ZPD without actually calling it ZPD or once mentioning Vygotsky, instead referencing some researcher or educator he had coffee with. He talkes about how an educator at University of California "discovered" that some students used large piles of flashcards with spaced repetition. Yes, it's called a "Leitner box" and it is hardly revolutionary. He uses sloppy writing. Roger Craig did not invent spaced learning, though the author sort of implies it. SuperMemo and Duolingo did not add it to their programs because of him. It existed long before him. (Which one can logically deduce from the note that he used Anki to practice for Jeopardy). He repeats constantly. In every chapter he repeat the same ideas - self-quizzing or asking questions, getting feedback from an expert, etc. The book could have been a third of the size without the repetition. (Unless he is going for spaced repetition- see what I did there... ) Calling things the wrong things- he spent a whole chapter on "analogies." What he was really talking about was "pattern matching." Non-sequiturs. Once part talked about how people don't notice things, and described a picture that had been drawn on and no one noticed for weeks, to a psych study about people not noticing a fight on the street (thank you for not citing the gorilla in the basketball game). The piece wraps with the conclusion that our brain is on autopilot because he used confirmation bias and justification to buy himself a new grill. huh? Odd little things that make no sense in the real world. He was 6 so he was too young to have drawn a mustache on a painting. Really? Then my 4yo is wildly precocious. People who do lots of PowerPoint presentations don't put much thought into doing new PowerPoints because they are so used to it even if the meeting is different. Huh? If the content is different (and you are a professional) then of course you put more work into it, the delivery method is immaterial. According to him, everyone apparently scores themselves higher than average on how a toilet works. Uh, nope. I know jack about a toilet, and the beauty is that I don't have to. Everyone is overconfident so therefore it's "just embarrassing to to give the I've-got-no-idea-shrug." Why? Wouldn't you rather be the genuine person who admits they don't know something and gives someone else an opportunity to show what they know, or the asshole who pretends he knows it all while everyone recognizes he doesn't and sneers behind his back? Is that a guy thing? I have never felt the need to be omniscient or an expert in every single subject on the planet. That sounds really boring anyway. If you're going to read books on learning, read something else. Read Josh Waitzkin's book. Or Tim Ferriss's books (he's less of a bro in the later ones). Or Daniel Goleman. Or Csikszentmihalyi. Read Jim Gee. Ruth Colvin Clark. Clark Quinn. Skip this one. Though if you do read it, it is skimmable- he takes forever getting to a point. The unfortunate thing is that the methods he cites are not wrong. There's a lot of good advice in there. It's just packaged as new when it's not, skips over properly citing the founders in the field and the proper names of theories in order to make it sound new, and makes odd jumps in places. It could have been a much better book than it is with just a little work.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This book is full of good information. Unfortunately, the writing is pretty awful. Boser jumps around between facts and anecdotes without considering his reader; the lack of flow is distracting and has the unfortunate effect of being jerked around on an old wooden roller coaster. For a book about learning, there were also a surprising number of instances where his points were either unclear or misleading. If you are a learner, parent or teacher interested in how to apply the findings in this boo This book is full of good information. Unfortunately, the writing is pretty awful. Boser jumps around between facts and anecdotes without considering his reader; the lack of flow is distracting and has the unfortunate effect of being jerked around on an old wooden roller coaster. For a book about learning, there were also a surprising number of instances where his points were either unclear or misleading. If you are a learner, parent or teacher interested in how to apply the findings in this book, just skip to the end and read the concise and direct appendix-like sections.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Powell

    This book takes a very well-rounded approach to learning how to learn. Most others in this space focus on one particular set of scientific research to prove their point and miss the broader picture of how to learn effectively. Although there are six chapters, each focusing on a different phase of the learning process, my takeaways can be summed up in three key points: 1. Motivation(we need deeply personal reasons for why we are studying our topic) 2. Relation(relate ideas to other ideas to think de This book takes a very well-rounded approach to learning how to learn. Most others in this space focus on one particular set of scientific research to prove their point and miss the broader picture of how to learn effectively. Although there are six chapters, each focusing on a different phase of the learning process, my takeaways can be summed up in three key points: 1. Motivation(we need deeply personal reasons for why we are studying our topic) 2. Relation(relate ideas to other ideas to think deeper, more creatively, and challenge preconceptions) 3. Recall, recall, recall(we can't expect to remember material the first pass through) I have one gripe with this book that is completely inexcusable, and is the reason for taking off one star: grammatical errors. Many errors. Words that should not have been in sentences, missing words, and continually misspelling the word "gaffe." This word was spelled "gaff" and means something the author did not intend. It boggles my mind that this book passed the editing stage without these errors getting corrected. Aside from this issue, I benefited significantly from this book and it is most definitely worth a read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mars Cheung

    Learning material from a vast assortment of various subjects (languages, history, politics, science) ranging from the obscure to the controversial in order to be able to understand and engage in conversation has been a great interest of mine. Being able not only to take in but assimilate stores of information and draw inferences is a skill that anyone could spend more time honing. I enjoyed the book for some perspectives it offered on how 'learning' occurs and what are some tools/strategies/metho Learning material from a vast assortment of various subjects (languages, history, politics, science) ranging from the obscure to the controversial in order to be able to understand and engage in conversation has been a great interest of mine. Being able not only to take in but assimilate stores of information and draw inferences is a skill that anyone could spend more time honing. I enjoyed the book for some perspectives it offered on how 'learning' occurs and what are some tools/strategies/methods that can be used to speed the process along. I thought some of the book was repetitive and some areas could have been explored in greater detail, but it was an interesting read and I'll be putting into practice some of the exercises described in this volume. A decent read. Not a bad choice to invest in.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bud Winn

    Interesting read. Good examples and some vignettes. Framework looks promising - will play around with it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    This is the first time I ignored the warning of reviewers about a book and got it anyway because it happened to be the Amazon Editor's Pick for Best Science Book of the Year. Well, it's actually kinda mediocre, especially compared to such powerhouses as Magness & Stulberg's Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success, Benedict Carey's How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens, Daniel Coyle's The Talent Code: Gre This is the first time I ignored the warning of reviewers about a book and got it anyway because it happened to be the Amazon Editor's Pick for Best Science Book of the Year. Well, it's actually kinda mediocre, especially compared to such powerhouses as Magness & Stulberg's Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success, Benedict Carey's How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens, Daniel Coyle's The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How. and the magisterial Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson. Sure, it contains lots of stories, which is one of the oft-discussed learning tools. But the stories don't really make strong, memorable points. The unfortunate fact is that this book contains a lot of mistakes -- sloppy, avoidable ones. Like the combinatorics problem in which Boser quotes someone saying "if there are seven options for each of the five things... there would be 7x7x7x7x7 or 75 possibilities" (both numbers can't be right). Or when he recounts the math problem of the skateboarder traveling at 6.5 miles per second (faster than the Space Shuttle) that makes no sense at all. Or when the phalanx of writers and editors going through this book still misspell "gaffe" as "gaff" a dozen times (kinda funny if it were intentional). Mistakes like these diminish trust in the source. I appreciated the very useful 10-page "Took Kit" summary at the end of the book. The thing is, that could have been the whole book, since the main body of the book was a bit thin and repetitive. If you have no exposure to the science of learning, you will pick up some interesting and actionable information from "Learn Better." Otherwise, I refer you to the other books mentioned above. -- Ali Binazir, M.D., M.Phil., Happiness Engineer and author of The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible, the highest-rated dating book on Amazon for 4 years, and Should I Go to Medical School?: An Irreverent Guide to the Pros and Cons of a Career in Medicine

  16. 5 out of 5

    Victor

    The book is supposed to spotlight some of the latest findings in how people learn and the most effective strategies for learning, but much of it is old hat. For instance, metacognition (“thinking about thinking”) is at least a twenty year-old idea; using flashcards and self-quizzing to learn words or concepts was a strategy widely used by high school and college kids in the 80s; the finding that people learn best in environments free of distractions or that building knowledge happens best throug The book is supposed to spotlight some of the latest findings in how people learn and the most effective strategies for learning, but much of it is old hat. For instance, metacognition (“thinking about thinking”) is at least a twenty year-old idea; using flashcards and self-quizzing to learn words or concepts was a strategy widely used by high school and college kids in the 80s; the finding that people learn best in environments free of distractions or that building knowledge happens best through studying over intervals of time—as opposed to cramming in one night—are hardly new discoveries. Ulrich Boser’s book is really meant for people who never paid attention in class or couldn’t. (Cramming, by the way, is effective for short-term goals like completing a midterm or final exam, after which one is unlikely to retain the information.) Nevertheless, Boser is right that meaningful long-term learning can only be done through hard-study fueled by self-motivation. There is no magic pill. Deep reflection, expert feedback, and constant questioning of what one has learned or is trying to learn, is essential in acquiring strong knowledge and skills. The unsexy truth is that learning is a tedious process—one that demands endurance and perseverance. Although the author has a good sense of what it is like to learn, he has little sense of what it is like to teach. One of the major flaws of Learn Better is that it ignores how the compulsory nature of school actually undermines the strategies outlined in the book. The strategies do work but are most effective when students are free to be self-directed and in charge of their own learning, conditions that most schools prevent. Regrettably, Boser suggests that “policymakers” make changes “to improve the nation’s system of schooling” and make it “better.” Beyond its vagueness, it is a rather obtuse view. The people who can improve education and who ought to be in charge of it are the folks who actually teach in the classroom—not policymakers. For me at least, it is difficult to say what in Learn Better was worthwhile. The book is presented in a bland and uninspiring writing style. For a text about education, it also suffers from some embarrassing and unforgivable typos and grammatical errors—I counted at least eight. I might overlook 1-2, but beyond that the author’s credibility begins to crumble for me, especially if he or she has never taught in a classroom, which Boser has not, according to the book’s back flap. Nancy N. Bailey, who copy edited this book, seems as unqualified for the job of proofreading as the author was for writing this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shubham Basera

    Call it the “stuff” approach to education. We think there’s “stuff” to be learned—a fact, some procedures, a formula or two—and we want to jam that stuff into our brain’s storage bins and drawers like an old pair of socks. This book is about learning the methods of learning! There are six chapters on six steps of learning in this book on Value ,Target, Develop, Extend, Relate and Rethink. And an epilogue and a toolkit. Toolkit has strategies based on the method of this book for learners, for paren Call it the “stuff” approach to education. We think there’s “stuff” to be learned—a fact, some procedures, a formula or two—and we want to jam that stuff into our brain’s storage bins and drawers like an old pair of socks. This book is about learning the methods of learning! There are six chapters on six steps of learning in this book on Value ,Target, Develop, Extend, Relate and Rethink. And an epilogue and a toolkit. Toolkit has strategies based on the method of this book for learners, for parents,teachers and managers and for policymakers. This book's genre is popular science and so a comprehensive references list at the end of the book is given. There are POP QUIZZES after most important sections to test our idea of the concept.But my only complain is there are no answers! Personally I find the book quite lengthy as there were many anecdotes in the book. But I think they were there to illustrate the points in detailed manner.  Below I have summarized what I got to learn in each chapter. Value The writer said that we as learners have to discover for ourselves why we are into learning a particular subject or thing, it’s hard to learn something if we don’t see any meaning in it. During my school days, I tend to believe that nobody can make you feel to learn something. Our teacher used to advise us on why learning is important, why we should learn doing maths or science or language. But I think they just don't strike a cord with students, we were just as perplexed as we were before all the advices.I even remembered someone asking to my techer of mathematics where he is going to use those sines and cosines of trigonometry. But reading this book, I realized that it isn't going to work that way. In short, just telling people that something is important is not enough. In fact, Hulleman has found that simply telling people that information has value can backfire. When we’re told how to feel or think, we can feel threatened or overly managed. Nobody can force you to see meaning. The author advised to ask these questions to yourself to find your value: How is this material valuable to me? How can I make it more relevant? How will I use the expertise in my own life? I can picture our teacher asking why we have not done our homework, and we , saying nothing,just kept standing still. A wealth of research supports the idea of giving students control over how they learn a subject. In one recent study, for instance, some high schoolers had some choice over their homework. Others had no choice at all. The results were clear: The students who had more autonomy showed more motivation—and far better learning outcomes. Yes, I believe this idea. If only students can have a choice to what they would be getting for homework, they would be more likely to complete it because somewhere they themselves are involved in the whole process. I also like the author way of defining expertise: Expertise is about having a deep network of connections within a skill or area of knowledge. So a physicist who is an expert in a field like General Relativity (GR) knows very well how you connect dots in GR, how GR is connected to other fields and sub-fields in physics, and in science in general.Experts have 'patten-recognition skills'. The books also seems to argue against the idea of highlighting: In a large and recent review of the research, Kent State’s John Dunlosky and some colleagues found that highlighting was a weak approach to learning, for instance. Why? It seems that the activity doesn’t do enough to push people to build their knowledge. Likewise, rereading showed limited effects, according to Dunlosky and his colleagues. Why? Again, it appears that the activity doesn’t spark enough mental doing. There are many advices for anyone who want to train someone to learn. One that I like particularly is : They [Teachers] should help students “learn a topic by breaking it down into the key elements of thinking required, then have the students practice that thinking,” he told me. One other thing that I think is also important is to never, ever give answers to your students. Just hints. Target Here the writer said to target your learning, actually he says be specific with your targets: The writer also discusses about something called 'Knowledge Effect'.  It boils down to the fact that it’s hard to learn something if you don’t know anything about it. When people attempt to learn something new, they’ll often target “either the things they know already, or things that are just too difficult for them,” according to Metcalfe’s research. This is very true. Develop I think most of the time we don't really know what we want to improve. We just say we want to improve our communication skills, but remain vague about what we really want to achieve or develop. One notice useful research I found in this book is: The effects of a high-quality curriculum are about the same as the effects of a high-quality instructor, even though high-quality curriculum is often cheaper. I think this has huge implications for my country India. This is also the thing I have always liked to emphasize on, I am of this opinion that we need to change many things about our curriculum, there are a lot of things to work on. Extend The author has advised on how we can extend what we have learned : Imagine you recently wrote an email detailing your thoughts on a documentary that you saw on Netflix. Again, you flushed out the idea—and engaged in a more direct form of sense making—and studies show that you’ll have a richer sense of the Netflix movie and its themes. Ask explanatory questions.Specifically: Can I describe the idea? Can I clarify the skill? Can I put it into my own words? Ask why queries. Why does the author make this claim? Why should I believe the author? Why would this matter? And this wonderful advice, teach someone else. In one recent study by psychologist John Nestojko, for instance, subjects who believed that they were going to teach learned more than a group of subjects who thought they were going to be tested on a topic. Relate We should akso know how the things we have learned are related. Concept map is perhaps a very effective tool for this. Other important effective tool is analogy. Rethink The author also warned us about the expert blind spot, the fluency heuristic, the illusion of explanatory depth:  The more we know, the more we think we know. In this sense, a little bit of knowledge is more than figuratively dangerous.  If an idea or fact comes easily to us—or we’ve just come across it a lot—people are far more likely to think that we know something about it, even if we don’t. Since there is forgetting curve, we should always devote some time from time to time to revisit those ideas, that we have learned. This is a very good book on what current research in human learning has known so far. I highly recommend it !

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Amore

    In "Learn Better," Ulrich Boser has written one of those books that isn't just remarkably well-written and sourced (though it is), but is also a must-read for educators, public policy leaders, administrators, and anyone interested in how we learn. The writing is accessible--entertaining, even--and hard to put down. I think this book will ultimately be that rare work that is commonly known by name in college classrooms and school departments around the country.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Brown

    At first I thought that this book was pretty good. Then, I realized that the entire book was mainly going to be summaries of studies over and over. I liked when the author used his own stories as examples. What really got me, though, was the massive--and I mean massive--number of errors in the book. Missing words galore. It was almost comical. How did it go to press in this condition?? I'd recommend this book if you're new to the topic.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Max

    A book about how we learn. It had some memorable points but a lot of fluff too. I don't really care about the personalities or the appearance of all the people who the author interviewed. This book made me want to spend more time learning in a specialized (as opposed to generalized) way. I should read by topic/theme, rather than reading whatever book piques my interest.

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Pulliam

    It is a wordy book, some of the claims are backed up only by anecdotal evidence (personal stories, etc.) and I feel like a lot of it was taken from How Learning Works and How we Learn. It is not nearly as well written. You can get the same info and ideas in a shorter and better written book with those other 2 books. Skip this one.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dharma Agastia

    I admit I did get some useful information out of this book, but then, it's just another of those popular science books that attempts to justify its "science-y" claims with anecdotes. Skip the anecdotes and distill the important takeaways (at least, the ones you think are), and you're good to go.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Walker

    Some useful information, and a good deal of solid motivation to learn smarter. But most of this book is stories and anecdotes from the author’s own life and many, many interviews. There is a short appendix that lays out the key points over a few pages. Feel like this is all I really needed to read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    Pros: some useful tips on high-value learning methods that can be implemented immediately to improve learning habits Cons: interviews and anecdotes throughout the book often seemed only tangentially related to the point argued

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jaron Dunford

    6 forms of learning: • Value – It’s impossible to learn if we don’t want to learn, and to gain expertise, we have to see skills and knowledge as valuable. What’s more, we have to create meaning. Learning is a matter of making sense of something. • Target – In the early part of gaining mastery, focus is key. We need to figure out exactly what we want to learn and set goals and targets. • Develop – Some forms of practice make people more perfect than others. In this stage of learning, people need to 6 forms of learning: • Value – It’s impossible to learn if we don’t want to learn, and to gain expertise, we have to see skills and knowledge as valuable. What’s more, we have to create meaning. Learning is a matter of making sense of something. • Target – In the early part of gaining mastery, focus is key. We need to figure out exactly what we want to learn and set goals and targets. • Develop – Some forms of practice make people more perfect than others. In this stage of learning, people need to hone their skills and take dedicated steps to improve performance. • Extend – At this point, we want to go beyond the basics – and apply what we know. We want to flesh out our skills and knowledge to create more meaningful forms of understanding. • Relate – This is the phase where we see how it all fits together. After all, we don’t want to know just a dingle detail or procedure-we want to know how that detail or procedure interacts with other facts and procedures. • Rethink – When it comes to learning, it’s easy to make mistakes, to be overconfident, and so we need to review our knowledge, reconsider our understanding, and learn from our learning. When it comes to learning, this idea is crucial. Motivation is the first step in acquiring any sort of skill. It’s hard to learn something if we don’t see any meaning in it. Value drives motivation. Hulleman and his colleagues aimed to help students find value in data tools (stats): asked questions like, can you see yourself using statistics in your life. Can you imagine using stats in your career as a nurse, salesperson, or manager. Then students wrote a two page paper essays detailing answers. The outcomes were clear. By drawing a connecting between stats and their lives, the students became much more motivated in their studies, in some cases jumping a whole letter grade. In essence, explaining why statistics mattered to them – in their future careers – improved learning. Videogame Minecraft is an interesting case study. When programmer Markus Persson launched the online game years ago, few believed that the program would succeed. After all, the game had no dramatic car chases, or displays of daring do. In Minecraft, there are not even points to figure out who is the winner. Instead, the online games provides people with building blocks and allows them to create whatever they want in the online world. Using square blocks, people can build sprawling castles, the Eifel Tower, this is your game. Despite convential wisdom, Minecraft has become one of the most popular games ever produced. There are more than 100 million users around the world, and Minecraft has outsold Tetris, Mario, and even Call of Duty. Why? Because the program makes it simple to create something relevant and find a personal sense of meaning. Some high school teachers have taken up learn crafting. Students in St. Andrews Episcopal School are allowed the choice in how they’ll demonstrate their learning, from taking a convential exam to creating a video. Teens at school will most often opt in to create some sort of independent project to show off their skills and knowledge, even though it can take 3-4 more times much work as taking a traditional test. They see a lot of meaning, relevance and ownership. The best forms of learning are active learning activities like self quizzing and self explaining. To learn we are not just copying the information, we’re making sense out of facts. Long term memory is rooted in links instead of features, in systems instead of facts, and so like a diviner, like a walking data analyzer, they can look past the surface features of problem and identify core issues. One approach about learning a new topic is to write down what you know about it. For example, honing grilling skills, make a note like: choose steaks with a bit of fat, high heat works best, use tongs, not a fork, so meat stays juicy. By probing ourselves before we gain a bit of expertise, we’re priming our metacognitive pump-and making our learning more durable. When people learn, they need to learn to cope with negative feelings. Am I good enough? Will I fail? What if I’m wrong? Isn’t there something else that I’d rather be doing. Emotions can quickly rob us of our ability to gain expertise. They disrupt our short term memory. While some of these feelings are typical, too many of them and you’ll get totally wiped out. Give feedback on feedback. If developing skills begin with feedback, then we are bound to struggle. People will inevitable flounder, after all getting feedback is about discovering what you are doing wrong. In the bluntest of terms, there is simply no such thing as effortless learning. To develop a skill, we’re going to be uncomfortable, strained, and often feeling a little embattled. People often live up to labels they often give themselves. If you are working on a tough problem, as yourself what if questions. What if we had more time. What if we had more people. What if we had more resources. The answers are often provocative and shed light on how a problem comes together as a system.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Yasheve

    Typos start in the introduction and continue throughout book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chen-Yu Yang

    It's a good book about learning, but I think knowing the high level principles are more than enough so I skimmed through most of the pages...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mushky

    Not all of the ideas were presented as clear as could be. Also, he connected a lot of different concepts without a clear connection.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Connolly

    Near the end of Ulrich Boser's book "Learn Better," he quotes a cognitive scientist: "If education were in the same realm as medicine, we would still be doing bloodletting with leeches." This quote illustrates a central point of "Learn Better": that most people have never learned to learn, and most teachers have not learned how to teach. "As an example, consider the word 'studying,'" Boser writes. "It's a remarkably vague expression. Does studying mean rereading a textbook? Doing sample problems? Near the end of Ulrich Boser's book "Learn Better," he quotes a cognitive scientist: "If education were in the same realm as medicine, we would still be doing bloodletting with leeches." This quote illustrates a central point of "Learn Better": that most people have never learned to learn, and most teachers have not learned how to teach. "As an example, consider the word 'studying,'" Boser writes. "It's a remarkably vague expression. Does studying mean rereading a textbook? Doing sample problems? Memorizing? All of the above? " Throughout "Learn Better," Boser provides specific examples of what really works. Highlighting passages in a book doesn't help learn the material, he writes. By contrast, taking quizzes on the material does work. For instance, the human brain learns facts, but quickly forgets them. However, if a person reviews the facts before they're forgotten, the forgetting process slows down. Boser tells the story of a man training to compete on the game show Jeopardy. The training required him to memorize facts like the names of the presidents of the United States. To avoid forgetting, he devised a computer program that would quiz him on the material just at the crucial day when he was most likely to forget. The result - when he went on the game show, he crushed the competition. "Anything we can do to distribute our learning over time pays off, and people should space out the development of a skill," Boser writes. The book is full of similar concrete anecdotes - the author, a recreational basketball player, hired a coach who quickly helped him improve his performance in pickup games. The lesson: playing games isn't enough to get better. A coach can help people see their own mistakes and make big leaps in performance. The ultimate lesson of Learn Better is that better understanding of how people learn will bring benefits to the broader society. I hope that more people will pay attention to the lessons taught in this remarkable book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    “Learning Better,” by Ulrich Boser, forces us all to think about learning in new and creative ways. He is humble with his own personal story of learning; sharing how learning was a struggle for him, how he thought of himself as slow. He reminds us how parents who just won’t give up on their children, and teachers who take time to care, can make an enormous difference in our lives. His concept of thinking about thinking is just one of the many ways he challenges us to learn better and challenges “Learning Better,” by Ulrich Boser, forces us all to think about learning in new and creative ways. He is humble with his own personal story of learning; sharing how learning was a struggle for him, how he thought of himself as slow. He reminds us how parents who just won’t give up on their children, and teachers who take time to care, can make an enormous difference in our lives. His concept of thinking about thinking is just one of the many ways he challenges us to learn better and challenges us to learn how to teach others better too. “Learning Better” should be on every educator’s must read book. For me, the book is this year’s go-to present for all upcoming birthdays!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.