[extropy-chat] Re: Learning Strategies (was: Turbulence of obsolescence)

ben benboc at lineone.net
Sun Apr 24 10:35:17 UTC 2005

Samantha said:

> Some of us manage to cobble together slightly more
> efficient learning and thinking strategies.  But it is very hit or
> miss."

Ha! Spot on!

I've been saying for donkeys years, the schools fail miserably in what
should be their primary duty - *teaching people to learn* (I'm not going
to talk about teaching people to think. That's a harder topic!)

The irony is, we figured out a few learning systems as long ago as the
ancient greeks. But i don't know of a single education system in the
world that has 'learning to learn' as a core competence. Once that is
instilled, 'learning for life' becomes easy.

Surely this should be the priority of any education strategy? It's like
the old saying about teaching someone to fish.

Adrian Tymes said:

> I wonder if anyone's developed a useful theory that one can study, and
> then apply this theory to certain examples (e.g., here is how you
> learn, and here's a biology facet - assuming you're not already a bio
> whiz - that you can apply the method to).  I wonder if it's just
> because the effects of this skill (or its absence) are so powerful,
> and because it takes years to properly master, that many people seem 
  > to assume it's either inborn or not, and not actually something that
> almost anyone can eventually learn?

There are loads of strategies for learning. I don't suppose there is one
single method that suits everybody for all needs, but there are
certainly lots of things you can learn that greatly increase your
effectiveness at learning.

I expect various people have tried to pull them all together into a
coherent system, probably more than once, but it doesn't seem to have
made much of an impact. Probably because it doesn't sell well.

You won't learn this stuff at school, when you are a kid, which is when
it has the biggest influence.

In fact, i've had a thought: who would be interested in compiling a list
of such techniques? You never know, somebody here might be able to spot
some underlying patterns, and perhaps we could distill some quite
powerful 'human learning algorithms'.

I'm sure everyone's heard of mnemonics, mental walks, mind maps and so
on, but there must be more, and there should be ways of combining
techniques like these into a comprehensive system that takes account of
different people's styles of learning, different primary modalities,
attention spans, etc. Maybe there's even a way of making such a system
of learning to learn easy to learn!

What could be more extropic than learning to increase your ability to
learn? :>

If anyone is interested in taking this idea further, they are welcome to
pm me.


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