«

»

Learning Smart

Instead of focusing on learning facts, we should first concentrate on how to best learn. Learning facts first often teaches thinking skills limited to the specific fact set. The result is rote memorization without the ability to self improve learning and thinking skills.

Critical learning and thinking skills include:

  • Observation – it’s important to know what inputs are available and how they are limited. Expanding types of inputs and reducing limitations will increase the value of the observations.
  • Abstraction – we make judgements about what pieces of information to maintain focus on and what pieces to ignore. Awareness of the process of abstracting is essential. Adjusting the process changes the way we understand events.
  • Replication – we compare abstracted patterns against new observations seeking matches. The limitations of observations and abstractions will limit our ability to find matches. When we find matches, it’s important to realize the limitations that were involved in reaching a match. But finding matches that work in the real world move us forward in understanding events.
  • Modification – by modifying observational inputs and abstracting processes, we can tweak our ability to match patterns and replicate successful actions.
  • Extrapolation – predicting future trends allow us to find abstract pattern matches that have not yet been observed or may not have occurred.
  • Synthetic abstraction – taking full control over the process of abstracting can change our viewpoint and our idea of reality. This can be either misleading or correctional.