Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!
Books of the Month
The San Francisco Fallacy: The Ten Fallacies That Make Founders Fail, Jonathan Siegel. Many books on entrepreneurship tell you what to look for, and what to look out for. But they don’t focus on the failures—and how those failures can eventually lead to success. Siegel’s book is jaw-droppingly good. He knows how to write and how to tell a story—this means that it’s hard to put his book down as he makes point after point from his sometimes disastrous, but ultimately phenomenally successful career as an entrepreneur and angel investor. (Incidentally, the “San Francisco Fallacy” refers to herd mentality in thinking that the enormously expensive Silicon Valley area is necessarily the place to go for tech startups.)
VERY highly recommended!
The 2-Hour Cocktail Party: How to Build Big Relationships with Small Gatherings, by Nick Gray. The more Barb has researched the neuroscience underlying how we learn, the more she (as a shy person simulating an extrovert) has discovered the importance of personal relationships, not only in learning, but in life. Interacting with people with whom you have become familiar, as it turns out, activates the brain’s reward mechanisms. It’s little wonder that we teachers like to use techniques such as “Think-Pair-Share,” and collaborative learning sessions sprinkled amongst the more difficult sessions of explicit instruction.
Which leads us right to Nick Gray’s delightful The 2-Hour Cocktail Party! (Nick himself, it should be pointed out, doesn’t drink, so alcohol isn’t at all necessary for Nick’s approach to work.) The trick to activating those happy feelings of reward, remember, is not just interacting with people—it’s interacting with people with whom you are familiar. How do you become familiar with people? Invite them to a short cocktail party! And that’s part of the trick—the party should be short. Nick (in real life, one of the world’s nicest people) shows you how to comfortably set up the part, from sending out the first invitations, inviting your great guests (people you’ve wanted to meet!), pre-party prep, navigating the first twenty minutes, icebreakers, how to end on a high note, and what to do the day after.
This is a wonderful book—Barb is planning her first party for after the launch of MOOC 3 of the Uncommon Sense Teaching specialization (Teaching Online) in two months!
Uncommon Sense Teaching, the MOOCs
And speaking of which, MOOC 1 & MOOC 2 of Uncommon Sense Teaching are doing fantastic! Here is an article in Market Screener about the second MOOC. Key graf: “How have learners responded to the course? It has been wonderfully rewarding to know that many have found it tailor-made to hone their teaching and learning skills. As one learner remarked: “How can we teach, without knowing how learning works?” It’s heartening also to find that many have come away with inspiration, guidance, and hope in these uncertain times – when the teaching experience itself has changed so much. This very evolution in the way we teach has, in fact, led me to start working on another course. Teaching Online, the final course in this series, will launch soon!”
Jump on the Waitlist for the “Everest Memory Masterclass”!
Nelson Dellis (now a 5-TIME USA Memory Champion and Guinness Record Holder) is launching his next cohort for his amazing “Everest Memory Masterclass.” Since last time, he’s revamped the class with more content, interactive sessions, interviews, and strategies––you’ll learn how to memorize names, learn languages, remember your todo lists and calendars, and tons of other practical things! He usually limits the size of his cohorts, so make sure to jump on the waitlist so you can access the class when it goes live in July! Jump on the waitlist here!
Strategie di Apprendimento in Italiano
La nostra amica Maria Luisa Dettori, ricercatrice presso l’Università degli Studi di Sassari (Italy), ha realizzato tre brevi video che hanno l’obiettivo di diffondere la conoscenza delle strategie di apprendimento fra i più giovani, in italiano. I primi due (1, 2) sono basati sui corsi Learning How To Learn e Uncommon Sense Teaching, Il terzo presenta il metodo di studio proposto dalla prof. Saundra McGuire nel suo libro Teach Students How to Learn (Stylus publishing) e altre risorse.
Meditating probably won’t make you a better person
“Meditation doesn’t quiet your ego. In an experiment, people who were randomly assigned to meditate actually focused more on themselves.
“Wait, I know what you’re thinking: they were doing the wrong kind of meditation. Au contraire: they did loving-kindness meditation that guided them to be compassionate toward others. And they walked away more self-absorbed! (The same was true for people who were randomly assigned to do yoga.)
“At the end of the day, I’m a social scientist: I want to get to the truth about how well-being practices affect us. And sometimes the best way to do that is to present the argument that the defense doesn’t want to hear.
“Mind-body practices have a place in our lives. But focusing inward on your own sensations can shift your attention away from other people. If you want to become kinder, you might be better off investing your energy in action and interaction. There’s no substitute for listening to other people’s problems and volunteering to share your time, talents, and ties with them.”
That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!
Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team