How to study well
Despite our awareness, that learning is an imperative part of our life, we still struggle to know exactly how to study well. When we merge into the professional world we get stuck to the old, often inefficient, way of apprehending the knowledge. However, it becomes crucial to invest in the most effective systems as learning has become one of the single best predictors of the income for individuals and even nations.
The new smart
The new smart is a concept developed by Ulrich Boser and refers to the skill of learning to learn. The new smart is all about development, creativity, and critical thinking. It focuses on a real understanding of a set of strategies and approaches that we apply in learning, to gain expertise in just about anything.
The old smart
In contrast, the old smart relates to innate talent, hardwire skills and something you have or you do not. What is interesting, is that it can actually get you pretty far. The breaking point begins when you start to struggle with an unexpected or even expected challenge.
The new smart three strategies
Metacognition relates to thinking about the way you are thinking and parallelly, learning about your learning. Ulrich emphasised that people most of the time are overconfident. They believe that they are above average in looks, intelligence, and skills.
Some overconfidence is good however in terms of learning it may lead to a weak form of understanding. The old smart way does not want critical feedback.
In contrast, the new smart people are planning out what they are going to do. Set goals, targets and find out how they are going to know something. While learning they are asking themselves questions like: “Do I know what I know?”, “Could I explain this to a friend?”, “Am I really above average driver?”.
When we want to acquire knowledge in a new area of expertise we look for connections. Analogies and patterns allow us to solve problems much more effectively. We want to learn how the facts are coming together, look for similarities and differences. Mix up your practice to get a much richer sense of learning experience.
Make learning hard. Using shortcuts makes learning inefficient and gives a false sense of progress, We learn best when we face the challenge. “Struggle” is often 30% more effective than other strategies, it makes us look for connections and summarise forcing us to work harder. We are active in terms of our learning when we really struggle to understand.
Embrace the new smart
Use analogies much more often, embrace the difficulty of learning and work with analogies. The goal is a development system that emphasises our approach to improvement and growth.