Learning to Learn

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” -Albert Einstein

We must all un-learn to a larger degree then ever

Maybe because I am a carpenter,whom builds homes and commercial buildings,I see building codes change" and fairly rapidly compared to the rest of society"..I must adapt by the moment to these codes,thus many times re-learn...and in-learn old ways...because when the Building Inspector ..walks through...if he "Fails something"...we don't have the luxury of saying "oh we will remember next time to do it that way!"..No, we must Fix the Fail Now!

Our teaching and learning habits are useful but they can also be deadly. They are useful when the conditions in which they work are predictable and stable. But what happens if and when the bottom falls out of the stable social world in and for which we learn? Is it possible that learning itself - learning as we have come to enact it habitually - may no longer be particularly useful? Could it be that the very habits that have served us so well in stable times might actually become impediments to social success, even to social survival? This paper explores reasons why we may need to give up on some of our deeply held beliefs about teaching and learning in order to better prepare young people for their social futures......"Erica McWilliam"

. It was Rogers who, in the 1950s, insisted that formal education erred in focusing on the skills of the teacher, when it was the learner who ought to be the centre and focus of pedagogy. “I have come to feel”, said Rogers, “that the only learning that significantly influences behaviour is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning…I realise that I have lost interest in being a teacher”

To choose to learn means choosing the discomfort of the unfamiliar and the not yet. Lifelong learning, like ageing, is not for sissies....-.Erica McWilliam


We all know that memory is an incredible process..the actual in’s and out’s are still widely disputed and most scientists still have only a vague idea how the multiple processes that make up what we call “memory” work. Some aspects of memory that I will touch on here include;

  1. The 3 step process of encoding, storage, and retrieval.
  2. The trajectory of a memory through the sense (perception), through the short term or “working” memory, and finally into our long term memory. (what we consider remembering)
  3. What happens when we lose a memory.

Encoding – Storage – Retrieval

This is the process through which our brain filters out the stimuli we don’t need which is actually most of what is going on around us. The brain is constantly bombarded by sensations and if it were to consciously acknowledge and process all of it…well..we would probably suffer from sensation overload. Perception takes place in the blink of an eye…literally. It only takes a fraction of a second to establish a sensory impression. The process just discussed is summed up as encoding. This is similar to the process with the same name used by computer programers, encoding is the inputting of something.

So you’ve encoded your memory..it starts out in your short term memory or your “working memory.” Our professor likes to compare it to an ineffectual mental chalkboard. One commonly held theory states that working memory can hold 7 – 8 things for 20-30 seconds. That time can also be reset by re-stating the information. (such as repeating a phone number to yourself) Memory experts say that the way you store your memories is crucial to how you retrieve them. In order to become a permanent part of your consciousness a thought has to travel from short term memory to long term memory, the way to do that is by repeatedly tracing the thought path it takes to think that thought. Hence the term, practice makes permanent

Working Memory

  • what your currently dealing with
  • holds only 4 bits of information
  • must keep repeating information to hold off natural dissipating processes
  • can be manipulated to hold more
  • inefficient blackboard
  • Used when encountering something new

Long Term Memory

  • Like a large storage warehouse
  • Must be revisited multiple times so it can be found later
  • Has unlimited storage capabilities so information can become lost under other information
  • Fundamental concepts and techniques
  • Spaced Repetition is a method of moving information from the short-term memory to the long-term, it entails repeating the information your trying to learn on a spaced out schedule so as to not attempt to “learn” it in one sitting.
  • Over time metabolic processes cause information that is not properly stored to vanish.
  • Proper storage takes time and practice.


When we forget something what is actually happening is a breakdown in the three step process discussed above. Sometimes this can be because we did not encode the memory effectively in the first place, maybe we were not paying attention. For instance when you cannot find your keys, maybe when you put them down you were thinking about what to cook for dinner and did not encode sitting them on the refrigerator, out of reach of little hands, now when you go to retrieve the information of where they are it is not there. You have FORGOTTEN where your keys are. Bummer

Education in America

It is widely excepted it needs to change

I recently purchaced Charles Muscatines "Fixing College Education"

Here is a excerpt.......THE PACE OF CHANGE
The logic of the new curriculum is so persuasive, and constructive criticism of our present college system in recent years has been so consistent, that it is hard to doubt that American college education is indeed headed for change. The only question is, how soon will change begin to happen on a large scale? Looking at the obstacles, it is anyone’s guess.
I will pass over the seemingly irreducible quota of anti-intellectualism in our national culture that expresses itself as hostility to colleges generally, except to note that much of our college culture is itself heavily unintellectual. We have observed that many students (like their parents) are primarily interested in college fun and sports, or at best in the diploma as a means to financial success. They are often openly contemptuous of study and faculty alike and care only about good grades, to which they take a consumerist attitude: “I paid my tuition; you can’t give me Ds and Fs.” They are major customers of term-paper dealers and other implements for doing as little work as possible. Colleges have been accused of “dumbing down” to satisfy these customers. By the very inertia of their stance, colleges are implicit opponents to change.
But there is some hope that students’ hostility toward the curriculum is in part an implicit criticism of its failure to engage them, and that a more challenging curriculum would change some of their minds. Furthermore, there is a growing public realization that the typical faculty’s conviction that “college as we teach it is good for you” is simply untrue for very many students. In a brilliant article that is worth citing at length, the high-school principal Rona Wilensky reports:
I know bright students for whom academic questions hold no compelling interest. I know others who are not adept or well prepared for school subjects. Others have learning disabilities that make the academic tasks of schools both daunting and debilitating.
I also know many students who have not had the privilege of life circumstances that allow them to be successful in school. Some have been targets of systematic social oppression, some victims of family dysfunction; others have simply experienced long strings of bad luck.
Nevertheless, almost all my students have talents for and strong commitments to nonacademic pursuits. They are interested, talented, and often skilled in art, business, politics, sports, mechanics, music, and the myriad other activities that human beings engage in across our society.
The trouble is that
almost all of them say they want to go to college. Why? Not because they love school and all things academic, but because American society has organized the transition from adolescence to adulthood in a way that makes college appear both necessary and inevitable … as the rubber stamp essential for access to jobs that pay well.
“College” as it is currently defined, she argues, is not only ill designed for the needs of these students but failing its own academic goals. She cites the 47 percent college graduation rate of students entering from high school, and the fact that in the 2003 National Survey of America’s College Students “only 31 percent were proficient in the literacy tasks presented them.”

After reading this I thought of "Plato's writing"......

Plato, through the words of Socrates, asserts that societies have a tripartite class structure corresponding to the appetite/spirit/reason structure of the individual soul. The appetite/spirit/reason are analogous to the castes of society.[75]

  • Productive (Workers) – the labourers, carpenters, plumbers, masons, merchants, farmers, ranchers, etc. These correspond to the "appetite" part of the soul.
  • Protective (Warriors or Guardians) – those who are adventurous, strong and brave; in the armed forces. These correspond to the "spirit" part of the soul.
  • Governing (Rulers or Philosopher Kings) – those who are intelligent, rational, self-controlled, in love with wisdom, well suited to make decisions for the community. These correspond to the "reason" part of the soul and are very few......
  • .We must determine the individuals ability..then help them in regard to their ability...

Though Leo can be radical,etc.I think his work is very Truthful..This video Mechanic of Belief's is good place to start..in order to even begin to deeply learn...we must clear our minds first!

Becoming receptive to Learn

We must be in a "state of mind"...to even learn-states of for example: not fatigued, but a searching curious, state

When one has truly learned something..maybe it is as like "one of those moments from our past that is so instilled in our memory,embodied in our soul,that we simply can not forget".
When you no longer have to look it up,as one would in a reciepe book in order to cook a certain dish, it is simply known.

I want to talk about learning. But not the lifeless, sterile, futile, quickly forgotten stuff that is crammed in to the mind of the poor helpless individual tied into his seat by ironclad bonds  of conformity! I am talking about LEARNING – the insatiable curiosity that drives the adolescent boy to absorb everything he can see or hear or read about gasoline engines in order to improve the efficiency and speed of his ‘cruiser’. I am talking about the student who says, “I am discovering, drawing in from the outside, and making that which is drawn in a real part of me.” I am talking about any learning in which the experience of the learner progresses along this line: “No, no, that’s not what I want”; “Wait! This is closer to what I am interested in, what I need”; “Ah, here it is! Now I’m grasping and comprehending what I need and what I want to know!” Carl Rogers 1983: 18-19