5 thoughts on “How to improve learning

  1. Interesting slide, can you give examples on how that would work in Math or regular information based knowledge like chemistry, or history?
    I personally agree that Ideas are a better for remembering and also a more fun state to reach. But ideas are also harder to quantify and test, and also very heavy on the brain to grasp, ie the brain must use a lot of resources to make the correct assumptions and connections for an idea to formulate.
    Also Ideas are often great for grasping the larger picture: “why did the industrial revolution take place?”…while maybe not as handy for small bits of information like “who/when was the first steam engine invented” or maybe even your cloud example.
    Maybe ideas are better for some types of subjects while not as effective for others?


  2. Math works a bit differently as the models or ideas are so much more complex. But really the only change for math would be including a way to iterate the ideas.
    Information based knowledge is exactly what this way of learning would benefit. Now I know you’ve studied cognitive science so I’ll up the language a bit here:
    When I say ideas I really mean semantic understanding of a system. All knowledge is systematic in some way, understanding cloud formations let you remember facts about said cloud formations because your semantic memory is a lot more effective then recall (not to be confused with recognition).
    This is why I believe that semantic learning (learning ideas instead of just data) is a lot more effective then the classic education system. Certainly not saying that it’s perfect. But according to the studies I’ve seen we tend to remember about 20-25% of the things we learn by classic education and closer to 75% when we use problem based learning. And that’s just problem based learning, without my semantical twist.
    I’ll try to find the study again and post it here.
    Thanks for the comment!


  3. Yes I understand your point, and I agree with your idea in general. I would just like to point out that “semantic understanding of a system” is exhaustive. But I might just be putting to much emphasis on that part. My idea is that for the information to be stored as you want it to be, it needs to “truly” be an idea.
    I feel like understanding cloud formations is not the same thing as knowing that cloud height makes clouds look different and therefore more prone to rain. That sounds to me as facts bunched together, ie pieces of recall bunched together?
    See my point about ideas being exhaustive? But that might be a price worth paying for longer and better memory storage.


    1. Almost yes. PBL is exactly what I’m referring to here (maybe with the added element of narrative though) but very few courses have elements of PBL in them and the exams are not based on PBL. If we test for quantitative knowledge we can’t expect students to put any effort into actually learning anything (i.e. qualitative knowledge).But since testing for quantitative knowledge is a basic premise of our school system it’s quite hard to change.


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