How to Learn New Things as an Adult

Article Excerpt:

A new book explores the psychology of mastering skills and absorbing information.

Quick, what’s the capital of Australia? No Googling! Did you get it? Or are you sure you learned it at some point, but forgot right around the time that you forgot how the Krebs cycle works? In his new book, Learn Better, author and education researcher Ulrich Boser digs into the neuroscience of learning and shows why it’s so hard to remember facts like that one.

What does it mean to learn something? Is it to memorize something? How do you know when you’ve learned something? Really what we want to do is to be able to think in that way, so that it shifts our reasoning abilities.

If we want to learn to learn to become a car mechanic, you want to learn the reasoning abilities of a car mechanic.

Why is teaching other people such an effective learning strategy? It’s not that different from explaining ideas to yourself.

People underestimate how much they forget, and people who are able to revisit their learning at a regular rate end up learning a lot more.

Anki is one, and they have, I think, a really nice model, which is, you’re learning at your rate of forgetting.

You have these moments where your brain is thinking through the day, making connections, and what’s important, I think, for people who are trying to learn more effectively, is to make organized time for that.

Source: How to Learn New Things as an Adult

Also published on Medium.