Great Book Review of Learning How to Learn in TES!

14th September 2018

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

This week, we read and enjoyed James Crabtree’s The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age. We’re always fascinated by India, but sometimes the unfamiliar names (to our US-based sensibilities) can make it hard to keep track of what’s going on. Crabtree solves the name-challenge by following outsized personalities with riveting stories, all in the context of what’s unfolding politically and financially in today’s India. This is an Amazon Best Book of July 2018—as the review notes, “Crabtree uses interviews and riveting reporting to give us a fascinating look into the sudden, sometimes shocking, and seemingly insurmountable rise of the Indian super-elite, as they surf the wave of globalism.”

Book review: Learning How to Learn
The Times Educational Supplement (TES), which is the top publication for K12 teachers in the UK, just published a wonderful review of Barb and Terry’s Learning How to Learn. As author Daisy Christodoulou notes: “[T]he very phrase “learning how to learn” has become an indicator that some educational snake oil is just around the corner. [But] Learning How to Learn by Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski is a glorious exception to this rule, reclaiming the phrase for people who care about the research and evidence. The book is written for children and gives a very accessible account of how our brains actually learn, accompanied by practical activities that you can put into action straight away.
As well as rescuing the idea of “learning how to learn”, this book is a landmark in another way. As far as I know, it is the first attempt to explain some of the latest research in cognitive psychology to children and not just teachers… If you teach a study skills unit, this would be something you could use as a class reader. Each chapter has activities at the end of it, so you could almost use it as a textbook, reading a chapter together and then doing the activities at the end. And there are chapters within it that would be worthwhile using in any lesson.”

If you’ve read Barb & Terry’s Learning How to Learn, we’d appreciate it if you might leave a review!

How We Learn—an Interview with Barb in Quartz

Annabelle Timsit, a reporter from Quartz, interviewed Barb for this insightful commentary on learning.

A Tribute to an Extraordinary Mathematician Who Died Too Young

This wonderful article by Gareth Cook in the New York Times Magazine is one of the best biographical articles we’ve read on Miryam Mirzakhani, the artistic mathematical genius who drew her way to greatness before her untimely death. Most inspiring of all for us is that, as a youngster, math was Miryam’s weakest subject—she very nearly gave up on it. [Hat tip: Joel Herskowitz]

Teaching-Learning-Leading K-12

Barb was lucky enough to do a podcast on learning and education with Steven Miletto—you can enjoy their conversation here! (Barb is now a Steven Miletto fan!)

A Harvard Business School professor observes that half of US colleges will be bankrupt in 10 to 15 years

This thought-provoking article describes Harvard Business Professor Clayton Christensen’s studies that have led him to conclude that “online education will become a more cost-effective way for students to receive an education, effectively undermining the business models of traditional institutions and running them out of business.” Key graf: “There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, but Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen says that half are bound for bankruptcy in the next few decades.”

A  Great Math Tool for Social Scientists—Especially If You Don’t Know a Lot of Math

Professor Thomas Burch writes:

“My background is in demography and social statistics. Many years ago I discovered a program called Mathcad, and sort of fell in love with it. Mathematical expressions display pretty much as they would on a chalkboard or textbook. It handles data, graphs, functions, vectors and matrices; solves equations. It has a good word-processor, and allows for full-screen editing; elements in a worksheet can be moved around to create a coherent document… Mathcad has evolved into Mathcad Prime, which is available in a light version free to students…

An important feature… is that it does symbolic as well as numerical math. In general I found it much easier to use than Mathematica, a spreadsheet, or R, which is the software of choice among my demographic colleagues. It feels more like using pencil and paper; no coding in the usual sense.
…Many social scientists would find it very useful, especially those of us with limited knowledge of math.

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



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