3 Binge-Worthy Books for Life-Long Learners
“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life,” Mortimer J. Adler said. I disagree.
Books don’t magically make you live the good life. You can read a book a week without changing at all.
Reading doesn’t help you per se — it’s reading the right books that can make all the difference.
No life skill can earn you greater dividends than learning how to learn. After reading more than 30 books on learning, these three are my favorite picks on meta-learning.
Every single one will help you understand how your brain learns. By doing so, you’ll make better decisions and find yourself on your journey to wisdom.
1) Make it Stick
Did you know rereading and highlighting are the most popular yet the least productive learning strategies?
Revisiting concepts and ideas might feel like learning because you recognize some of them. But you’re not learning. You’re trapped in an illusion of knowledge.
Mastering a text is different from recalling or remembering what you read.
“People commonly believe that if you expose yourself to something enough times, you can burn it into memory,” the authors write.
They also why it’s not worth it: “Rereading has three strikes against it. It is time-consuming. It doesn’t result in durable memory. And it often involves a kind of unwitting self-deception, as growing familiarity with the text comes to feel like mastery with the content.”
I used to think learning should feel easy. Slow and difficult meant unproductive. Turns out I was wrong.
Effective learning must feel hard: “Learning is deeper and more durable when it’s effortful. Learning that’s easy is like writing in sand, here today and gone tomorrow.”
‘Make it Stick’ doesn’t stop after dismantling learning myths.
The research group around neuroscientist Henry Roediger and psychologist Mark McDaniel spent ten years exploring learning strategies. Their goal was to bridge the gap between cognitive science and educational science.