I think we’re on the brink of something big. Even if we haven’t quite worked out the science of hacking our brains for superpowered intellect, we’re gaining insight into how we learn as human beings.
For one, no matter what you’ve heard, there is no evidence for the idea of learning styles or a ton of other persistent “neuromyths” about knowledge intake—you’re not a visual learner or an aural one; you’re not left-brained or right-brained. We can all pretty much learn just as we’re taught.
That is, as long as we’re in a space that’s not too hot, too dark, overfilled with CO2, or prone to any other of the numerous physical effects that disrupt the learning process. As we come to better understand our classrooms, we’ll monitor them in other ways, too, as robots are poised to collect data on student life and banish the need for exams altogether.
And yet, all this technology doesn’t mean self-education, no matter your age, is a lost art. On recently designing a board game with his nine-year-old son, Steven Johnson writes: “It’s one of those magical parent-child activities where the two of you occupy shared ground in terms of both comprehension and engagement.”
It’s a new year. Read all the stories from our How We Learn series below, and then find a magical moment of edification on your own, won’t you? Happy 2017!
Everything we published in our December How We Learn series:
- An introduction and reading list by Abigail Ronck.
- Christine Ro on the current promise of education in U.S. prisons.
- Duncan Jefferies checks into the science behind brain hacks for supersonic learning.
- Matt Locke talks to MIT’s John Van Reenen about how we define innovators by what they make, but rarely look at what made them.
- Duncan Geere busts the “neuromyths” about how we learn.
- Graeme Anderson charts who doesn’t go to college around the world, and why.
- Simon Parkin on why the physicality of your classroom is making you fail.
- Mel Plant finds that the powerhouse generation of millennials in Jordan wants educational reform more than anything else.
- Steven Johnson on why designing a simple board game with his sonrivals anything the average nine-year-old is learning in school.
- Rose Luckin and Wayne Holmes on the classroom of 2027, and the AI teaching assistants that will change everything.
- The latest episode of Steven Johnson’s Wonderland Podcast, all about how we incorporate play into the modern work environment.
This post is part of How We Get To Next’s How We Learnmonth, looking at the ways we educate around the world throughout December 2016. If you liked this story, please click on the heart below to recommend it to your friends.