Summarizing and Reviewing Main Ideas From Lessons So Far

1. Mindset: How Your View of Failure Shapes the Way You Learn

We often think that intelligence is something that is fixed. You’re either born intelligent or you’re not. Some of us see exceptional and outstanding people from different fields and we call them “talented” or “gifted”. The fact is that most people are held back not by their innate ability, or inborn ability, but by their mindset. Intelligence is not fixed and your brain is like a muscle which grows through use and struggle.


Main Idea

You can get much better at anything by seeking experiences and challenges that will stretch you. You can overcome your deficiencies by putting in effort and seeking friends that will challenge you to grow. That’s the growth mindset and that’s what you need to become a great learner.

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2. Why Multitasking Might be Harmful to Your Brain and Memory

Human beings aren’t wired to focus on more than one thing at a time and juggling multiple tasks together might actually slow down your cognitive processing.


Photo Credit: NSBE

Main Idea

You stand a better chance at becoming a better juggler of tasks by forming a habit of doing one thing at a time. Choose specific times to perform different tasks and activities and try to focus on one thing at a time.

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3. How Chunking Helps You Fit Puzzle Pieces Together While Learning

Chunking can be described as a mental leap that helps you unite scattered bits of information through meaning. It is a process by which individual pieces of information in your brain are somehow bound together into a meaningful whole.


Photo: Odyssey

Main Idea

You learn more effectively and understand better when you take advantage of chunking by a making a consistent effort to associate the bits of information you receive daily together through meaning. Chunks help us more easily “transfer” what we’ve learned from one field to another where it’s applicable

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4. How to Form Chunks and Improve Your Memory as You Learn

The best chunks are the ones that are so well ingrained in your brain, that you don’t even have to consciously think about connecting the neural pattern together whenever you need to use the information. 


Photo: Shutterstock

Main Idea

When forming chunks, the first step to take is to focus your attention on the information you’re trying to take in. The next step is to allow the focused and diffuse modes of thinking take turns in helping you understand what’s really going on. The final step is to find out the use cases for the chunk.

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5. When You Think You Know Something and You’re Shocked to Find that You Don’t

We’ve all been in situations where we thought we knew something or understood how to do something but we were shocked when we found out that we don’t actually know it as well as we thought we did. Sometimes, it just takes an examination to show us our lurking defects.


Main Idea

A very helpful way to make sure you’re learning and not deceiving yourself with illusions of competence is to test yourself on whatever you’re learning. Even though, it might not be fun, it will force you to try to remember what you’ve learned and by so doing, commit it better to long-term memory.

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6. How Mixing Up Your Learning Helps You Deal With the Einstellung Effect

Overlearning is very helpful when you need to produce the kind of automaticity required for a presentation such as an important speech or a piano concert and this automaticity is very helpful in times of nervousness. However, in our daily learning, research has shown that overlearning can be a waste of valuable learning time.


Main Idea

Although repetitive practice on a particular concept or technique is important in helping you build solid neural patterns, it’s interleaving and spaced repetition that helps you build flexible and creative patterns. Mixing up your study and practice between a variety of subjects you’re trying to learn helps you transition from the world of rote practice and repetition to the world of independent and creative thinking.

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