Since dyslexia is typically labeled a learning disability, I find it fascinating that fonts with heavier strokes on the bottom of the letters help many dyslexic people read more easily, with less page-flipping. Below is a recent example: the free … Continue reading
From an article in the NY Times:
In recent years, cognitive scientists have shown that a few simple techniques can reliably improve what matters most: how much a student learns from studying.
The findings can help anyone, from a fourth grader doing long division to a retiree taking on a new language. But they directly contradict much of the common wisdom about good study habits, and they have not caught on.
In a previous post, I discussed the problems of learning skills and attitudes from role models who aren’t competent. In this post I’ll discuss how to find real experts to learn from.
What makes an expert?
To find good exemplars (examples of a skill or ability) to learn from, evaluate their results. Ask:
- How good are the person’s actual results? It doesn’t matter if Rowena thinks she is the world expert in good relationships; it matters whether she has good relationships. Judge only by results, not by what you, she, or other people think will work, does work, or should work.
- Does this exemplar get consistently great results? Someone who has excellent relationship skills will tend to have lots of good relationships: with their spouse, parents, children, friends, neighbors, etc. They’ll also have minimal problems with bad relationships, quarrels, firings, and people doing nasty things to them.
Imagine that you are about to learn to drive race cars or speed boats. You probably wouldn’t pick as your driving teacher:
- The town drunk
- A blind person
- The neighbor who has crashed their car into every trash can and sign pole in the neighborhood.
And yet most people learned at least one important life skill from someone that unqualified to teach it.Continue reading