Every fortnight (two weeks) our editor sends along a few links with the most noteworthy quote from each article, a way of keeping our team abreast of what’s going on in the world around peer-learning, collective learning and knowledge sharing. We decided to share them alongside the magazine.
You can read them here or subscribe to the Tinyletter and get them straight to your inbox.
High-quality connections are what Barbara Fredrickson calls micro moments of love. Don’t let the word “love” scare you. These moments of aliveness in connection with others create a sense of safety and enhanced capability that become a powerful platform for development. We grow in high-quality connections because our thinking is broadened, we absorb knowledge more quickly, our action repertoire is expanded, and we are more engaged, playful, open, and resilient in the face of setbacks. High-quality connections stand in stark contrast to low-quality connections, in which feelings of inadequacy, defensiveness, and lack of safety undercut growth possibilities.
So how did a false belief become so widely-held? In his paper on the subject for Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Howard-Jones argues that it’s not a result of fraud, but of “uniformed interpretations of genuine scientific facts.” The assumption behind learning myths seems to be based on the scientific fact that different regions of the cortex have different roles in visual, auditory, and sensory processing, and so students should learn differently “according to which part of their brain works better.” However, writes Howard-Jones, “the brain’s interconnectivity makes such an assumption unsound.”
Moreover, our relationships with information and knowledge are transforming, and too often their meanings are commingled. Information is constructed from bits and pieces of data. Knowledge is built by making personal meaning from information (Polyani, 1966). Innovations emerge when individuals and groups take action with what they know to create new value. While we are good at managing information, we cannot manage the personal knowledge created in the heads of our workers.
Binge-learning assumes learners are the center of their own connected networks that consist of other people and information sources. To be worthy of binge-learning, our online content must focus on these networks and be designed specifically for 1) increasing the number and intensity of existing connections within the learners’ networks, and 2) connecting learners to new networks and new connections. This necessarily assumes a willingness to embrace organic, unscripted learning opportunities in our design.
Nicole Wilson, Singularity University’s vice president of faculty and curriculum believes education technology is currently in a phase of deceptive growth, and we are seeing the beginning of how exponential technologies are impacting 1) what we need to learn, 2) how we view schooling and society and 3) how we will teach and learn in the future.
(Oriented towards school but valid point of view for important skills at any age.)
On top of this knowledge, a liberal education should make certain habits of rationality second nature. Educated people should be able to express complex ideas in clear writing and speech. They should appreciate that objective knowledge is a precious commodity, and know how to distinguish vetted fact from superstition, rumor, and unexamined conventional wisdom. They should know how to reason logically and statistically, avoiding the fallacies and biases to which the untutored human mind is vulnerable. They should think causally rather than magically, and know what it takes to distinguish causation from correlation and coincidence. They should be acutely aware of human fallibility, most notably their own, and appreciate that people who disagree with them are not stupid or evil. Accordingly, they should appreciate the value of trying to change minds by persuasion rather than intimidation or demagoguery.
How to Make Learning More Automatic
Eight strategies to identify what you want to learn and make learning more habitual.