The Education of Eva Moskowitz

9th May 2019

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

The Education of Eva Moskowitz: A Memoir, by Eva Moskowitz.  What a wonderful and eye-opening book about the educational system! Eva Moskowitz is a take-no-prisoners, never-blink pioneer in the K-12 sector. A lifelong Democrat, Moskowitz understands politics through her participation at a variety of levels. She came to the conclusion that education was the place where her natural talents could have the biggest impact, because it was most in need of reform. If you want to truly understand the pernicious effects that American education-related unions have had on students’ access to quality education, read this book. Moskowitz names names of the cabal of successfully sinister leaders who have succeeded in harming children and wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars through subterfuge and intimidation, all under the guise of helping children.

Unions can do important and valuable work, but if you think unions and their leaders are always good, you might read  I Heard You Paint Houses, about the Teamsters and their notoriously “disappeared” leader Jimmy Hoffa. Incidentally, in Barb’s experience, teachers unions in other countries can be far more common-sense supportive of students themselves, instead of just teachers.

Moskowitz’s book also shows how one should take newspaper reporting on education by ideologically, rather than factually, motivated journalists with a boatload of salt. With people like Moskowitz involved, there’s hope for the disadvantaged students most in need of a sound education. [Hat tip, Roman Hardgrave.]

Three habits of good learners

As this explanation and video snippet about learning by Barb, Terry, and Greg reveal, good learners have a few particularly useful habits. This comes via the Times Educational Supplementone of Britain’s best educational publications.

Are You In Alice Springs, Australia?

If you are in Alice Springs, and you’d like to join Barb for dinner at 6:00 pm today (May 10th), please drop her an email at

With Flip of a Giant Ceremonial Switch, CMU Starts Effort to Energize ‘Learning Engineering’

As Jeff Young describes in this EdSurge article, Carnegie Mellon University is making $100 million dollar software freely available to help professors to improve their teaching. “The idea is that each semester, professors will create hypotheses for what might lead to better learning in their courses, adapt their course materials to try to achieve that result, monitor student behavior to see if it worked, and then analyze the results and make adjustments based on what happened.”

The Case for Doing Nothing

Yes, as this New York Times article by Olga Mecking notes, it’s healthy to sit around doing nothing sometimes, letting the diffuse mode reign.  (As Barb writes this, she’s pausing for minutes at a time to glance around the Sydney airport, soak in the Australian accents, and enjoy her coffee.) [Hat tip, Joe Muskatel.]

Flowtimean alternative to the Pomodoro

Barb never has a problem with the alarm of the Pomodoro Technique disrupting her work. This is because she turns her computer sound off, so the timer goes off, and if Barb is in the flow, she can just keep going. But there are other methods people use to overcome the problem of the timer sound breaking the flow. Here, for example, is a discussion of Zoë Read-Bivens’ Flowtime Technique—an alternative to the Pomodoro Technique for people who dislike Pomodoro’s alarms, as well as other related methods. [Hat tip: Rafa Mayer]

An Inspirational Message from a LHTLer

“Learning How to Learn is the most meaningful course I have ever taken. It gave me a new, powerful, mental tool.

“I decided to take the course for three main reasons. First, I wanted to know how to study more efficiently. I was feeling utterly exhausted after having taken a series of accounting classes. I had been studying all day long every day to get A’s. Second, I wanted to better retain what I learn. Sometimes I would forget details presented early in a course by the time I took the final exam. Lastly, I wanted to keep a good balance between study and life. I had sacrificed or minimized my interaction with my family and friends. Learning should be fun.

“I learned three things through this course that can help me study efficiently, effectively and with less frustration. Number one is that I learned how to utilize my brain. Our brains are amazing. They are working constantly even we are sleeping. Next, I learned how important to visualize the concept by using metaphors or analogies, and explain it to myself and others. That helps strengthen and internalize what I learned. Finally, I learned that we can change our lives by changing our thoughts. Our brains will continue to grow when we try to learn something new.

“During my next accounting course, I will try to listen to the stories the numbers are trying to tell me like a forensics accountant who can look beyond the numbers and uncover the facts. Also, I will do better at finding classmates who can work together.

“One last thing; I will keep learning. No matter how great the new mind tool is, it will rust if I don’t use it.”

Chizu Kobayashi

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

View more Cheery Friday e-mails >