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LEARNING TO LEARN Why Being Smart in the Information Age Isn’t Important— and Why Learning Is

Ulrich Boser 0

I just signed up to write a new book. The tentative title is LEARNING TO LEARN Why Being Smart in the Information Age Isn’t Important— and Why Learning Is. The publisher is Rodale; the book should come out in 2015.

Here’s a brief description from the proposal:

Learning is as essential to being human as breathing. It is something we all do throughout our lives, consciously and unconsciously, at work, at school, at home. But what is learning, exactly? What does it mean to learn? For centuries, experts have argued that education was about information: You’re supposed to study facts and dates and details. You learn to become knowledgeable and to apply that knowledge means you’ve learned something. But it turns out that this approach to learning doesn’t fit the world that we live in today. Nor does it match up with what science has shown works.

Instead, research now demonstrates that what matters isn’t so much what we have learned, but how we learn. Learning isn’t a means to a goal. It often is the goal. What’s more, it turns out that once you know how to learn, you can learn almost anything, and as a society, we need much deeper forms of education, where information and knowledge work to foster the creativity and problem-solving skills that are what ultimately matter in today’s economy. Or think of it this way: When it comes to schooling, the traditional three Rs of education–reading, writing, and arithmetic–are woefully inadequate. Instead, we need to engage a new set of “Rs”–what I call the six Rs of learning: rigor, resilience, routine, interest, resourcefulness, and reflection. 

I hope to post more in the coming weeks.

Photo: Sara Cimino.

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