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Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything (Hardcover)
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For centuries, experts have argued that learning was about memorizing information: You're supposed to study facts, dates, and details; burn them into your memory; and then apply that knowledge at opportune times. But this approach to learning isn’t nearly enough for the world that we live in today, and in Learn Better journalist and education researcher Ulrich Boser demonstrates that how we learn can matter just as much as what we learn.
In this brilliantly researched book, Boser maps out the new science of learning, showing how simple techniques like comprehension check-ins and making material personally relatable can help people gain expertise in dramatically better ways. He covers six key steps to help you “learn how to learn,” all illuminated with fascinating stories like how Jackson Pollock developed his unique painting style and why an ancient Japanese counting device allows kids to do math at superhuman speeds. Boser’s witty, engaging writing makes this book feel like a guilty pleasure, not homework.
Learn Better will revolutionize the way students and society alike approach learning and makes the case that being smart is not an innate ability—learning is a skill everyone can master. With Boser as your guide, you will be able to fully capitalize on your brain’s remarkable ability to gain new skills and open up a whole new world of possibilities.
About the Author
ULRICH BOSER is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank. A former contributing editor for U.S. News & World Report, Boser is the author of two previous books. His work has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two daughters.
"Learning makes us human, yet few of us truly understand how the brain, the heart, and the body work together to create new knowledge. Learn Better pulls back the curtain on the hidden ways we are wired for learning, in ways that are alternately humorous, surprising, and profound."
—Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute and author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
"Brimming with helpful insights and interesting stories, this surprising and engaging new book provides an important, much-needed introduction to the science of learning. It belongs on the bookshelf of every learner.”
—Linda Darling-Hammond, President of the Learning Policy Institute and Charles E. Ducommon Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University
"This critically important book offers valuable—and fun to master—insights about how to learn deeply and meaningfully in a time when all the 'knowledge' in the world is just a swipe of the finger away."
—Laura Moser, former education blogger at Slate
"Learning is the project of a lifetime. In this humane and insightful book, Ulrich Boser reveals the tools that everyone from grade school children to their parents in the workplace can use to keep pace in a fast-changing world."
—Kevin Carey, author of The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere
“This book is a great read. I enjoyed every moment of it. I enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on my own experiences in the classroom and my own experiences as a student.”
—John King, Former U.S. Secretary of Education
"Learn Better is at once comprehensive and delightful, filled to the brim with definitive insights on how we learn best. Boser is an engaging guide who has thoroughly sifted through the vast research on the science of learning to offer key takeaways that can be put into practice immediately. Essential reading for educators, parents, and anyone who wants to learn, once and for all, what it actually takes to 'learn better.'"
—Christine Gross-Loh, bestselling author of The Path and Parenting Without Borders
"Where was this book when I was struggling through undergrad, fighting off sleep as I burnt the proverbial midnight oil and laid the foundation of my current carpal tunnel condition from taking copious class notes that I now know—all these years later—were all but worthless? As Ulrich Boser reveals in an engrossing and highly entertaining way, the retention of facts, dates, and principles—learning—isn’t about what you do, but how you do it. One can’t simply vacuum up data, instead one has to “meaningfully process information.” Best of all for this old dog, anyone can master new skills by following the straightforward techniques detailed in Learn Better."
—Carl Chancellor, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist