Learning how to learn -Nasir Hossain
The students have a general tendency to memorize as much as they can before the examination and forget as soon as the test is done. In fact, if you memorize a lot of things at a time, you will surely forget nearly everything within a very short time. Why? To get answer of this question, you need to read the book ‘Learning how to learn’ of Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski.
It’s our brain that helps us to keep anything remember. However, it depends on us for how long the information will be stored in our memory. If we understand how the brain works, we can find ways to get anything memorized for a longer period. Barbara and Terrence reveal the techniques in details in their book.
Since the topic brain and its activities are a bit difficult for a general reader, the writers present them in a non-traditional way, using pictures and metaphors to simplify the heavy terms. Knowing more about the inner working of our brains helps in understanding why certain learning and organizing techniques are better than others and why we should take care of aspects and things that might seem unrelated at first.
The book provides some very useful techniques to increase effectiveness of learning. For example, the book explains the importance of reading and summarizing with own words, taking care of a good dose of sleep, the effect of the environment, the power of distractions and how to prevent it, the necessity of exercise etc. Moreover, every chapter of the book ends with highlight, summary and questions; therefore, it actively asks the reader to recall the main point of every chapter.
Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski are from the field of research in neurosciences and are practicing teachers. So, they have rightly pointed out the problems the students face and provided solution to them.
Although the book is written for teens and above, it is helpful for readers of all ages. The readers will definitely love the language since they are funny and interesting to read. Our formal education may end, but for many, the learning never ends. The book helps to become a better learner.
The writers also conduct a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with the similar name and it is immensely popular among the online learners around the world. The course is free for all, google for it if you are interested.
The book is strongly recommended to any human being. The hardcopy may be available in the bookstores. The softcopy is also available in the web.
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