Learning how to learn

In learning on September 17, 2008 at 2:23 am
Photo by Dawn Endico (thank you!)

Photo by Dawn Endico (thank you!)

A movie came out in the ’80s called Searching for Bobby Fischer, about a little boy who became a master at chess at a very young age. The story was based on child prodigy and chess player Josh Waitzkin. No longer a child but still a prodigy, Josh has lately shifted his focus to education and learning. In a recent interview, Josh talks about how his love for chess was really a love of learning.

Lately, Josh has noticed that college kids can often be found multi-tasking — both in class and (I’ll add) outside of class. When you’re studying, you might be texting, checking email, sending instant messages, watching TV, waiting for a phone call, and working on writing a paper. Josh writes about why this multi-tasking hinders learning — and how multi-tasking makes it difficult for students to succeed in the high-pressured system of higher education.

I agree.  Doing five things at once doesn’t work so well when it comes to studying or writing. Also, it’s not nearly as fun. There’s nothing quite so intoxicating as immersing yourself completely in a subject and losing yourself in your own focus. This is difficult to do, with all the distractions at our disposal, but I think it’s one of the most effective ways to learn.

To read what Josh has to say, take a look at his guest post on Tim Ferriss’s Blog.


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