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The Science of Accelerated Learning by Peter Hollins

  • Rating: 4/5
  • Amazon
  • Human attention span is short, cater to it by learning in smaller blocks of time. Also factor rest and recovery, this is where difference is made.
  • Prioritize underlying concepts over info.
  • Fail, struggle, be frustrated. Fixation cements info and concepts into memory. Taking hard way, avoid shortcuts.
  • Learning is about changing memory, it’s composed of encoding, storage, and retrieval.
  • Use memories by recalling, recognizing, or relearning info, but up against forgetting curve aka memory decay rate.
  • Retrieval practice most effective method to improve memories/learning (flashcards).
  • Passive learning (summarization, highlighting) ineffective. Learning requires active engagement.
  • Elaborative interrogation: explain concepts to yourself, act like Sherlock Holmes to understand concept. “Why” and “how” questions.
  • Self-explanation: talk out loud to discover what you know and don’t, Feynman technique.
  • Interleaved practice: mix subjects instead of subject by subject to build stronger associations and links.
  • Spaced repetition: mother of effective learning, frequency over duration (cramming).
  • Flashcards and mnemonics helpful for learning in short period of time because they organize info and break into chunks.
  • When learning itself isn’t motivation, find relevance, meaning, and motivation in an end goal where learning is part of process. E.g., gamification (level-ups, badges, rewards, competition, social pressure).
  • Need growth mindset toward learning, believe you can learn, improve. Change internal monologue to change mindset.
  • To integrate info into brain’s organizational structures, learn to take great notes. Cornell method. The more effort you put into learning, the greater staying power.
  • Deliberate practice leads to expertise, only as strong as your weakest link.
  • Dreyfus model documents five stages of gaining expertise and four competency stages. Identify where you are in each to know what to do next.
  • The Pareto principle (80/20 rule): in just about every walk of life, 20% of input produces 80% of output.
  • Learning pyramid as guideline. Teaching is most active, seek to teach more in knowledge quest.
  • Protégé effect, feel certain amount of responsibility, openness, and accountability because of protégé, pushes to strive for more and better.
  • Seven vital questions, originally from coaching, used in teaching people to understand what they are missing, what they want, and what they are currently struggling with.
    1. What’s on your mind?
    2. And what else?
    3. What’s the real challenge here for you?
    4. What do you want?
    5. How can I help?
    6. If you’re saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?
    7. What was most useful for you?
  • Art to giving/receiving feedback. Both increase your learning.
  • Habit of persistence and discipline, learning is not always easy or pleasurable. Keep going, manage impulsivity and resist distractions.
  • Habit of flexible thinking, consider multiple perspectives and not become married to one method, mindset, habit, or opinion.
  • Habit of striving for accuracy is self-evident.
  • Habit of asking questions and skepticism, sense of genuine curiosity allows going deeper than others. Asking “why” continually gets you farther than you might expect.
  • Habit of thinking in metaphors, break down an idea into components and compare it to something related. Necessarily involves understanding topics on deeper level and applying existing knowledge with new. Brainstorm them.

Rocky Warren's blog. Principal Architect, Tech Lead, Product Manager. I do other stuff too.

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