Cognitive Learning

I reviewed the blog Seven Principles of Learning created by Scott Young. Scott is an eclectic soul who is a writer, programmer and avid reader of interesting things (Young, S. 2014).In Scott’s blog he provides a brief synopsis on the book entitled Why Students Don’t Like School written by Daniel Willingham, a Harvard educated cognitive scientist. In Scott’s review he goes over 7 of the 9 principles of learning presented by Daniel Willingham. Scott gave a pragmatic view of the principles presented by Willingham. I was drawn to principal # 2 – Memory is the residue of thought.  In this principal he talks about using the Feynman technique to learn how to retain the important information. Richard Feynman was a Nobel Prize Physicist who created a technique for problem solving and learning (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrNqSLPaZLc). In the technique there were several steps used to support problem solving, understanding concepts and for studying prior to an exam. The 1st step is to chose a concept, step 2 is to the explain the idea in a way in which you yourself may not understand it, you can review the reference material and re-read and re-learn until you can explain the concept on paper, the last step is to simplify the language of a wordy concept and create an analogy that you can understand. This technique is used to learn and study new material. This technique can take about 15 minutes to apply it to a concept and truly understand the concept. I will definitely try this technique as I continue on with this class because there are some concepts that I have grappled with in some of the course readings. I am eager to try this technique to see if the technique is effective in memorizing concepts that I may find uninteresting or tedious to learn.  I find that Young’s beliefs on learning are solid and support extensive research and science and not a lot of theories and philosophy that generally are fallacious in nature.

I also reviewed the blog created by the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) entitled Sleeping for Learning: How Children and Adults Maximize Their Memory Potential. This blog looks at stages of sleep and its influence on particular types of learning in the brain. As information grows clearer a picture is evolving of which memories are processed during sleep and the relevant aspects of sleep physiology. A correlation between memory and the quality of sleep has been established by studies conducted by Rebecca Spencer of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A report made in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that daytime naps enhance learning in preschoolers.  Further studies show that overnight sleep was advantageous to the memory of children that were 6 and older. The study showed that during the nap time for the children sleep spindles (high-frequency bursts shown in EEG record during non-REM sleep) tend to increase during nap time. Sleep spindles are thought to support the making of new memories. The experiences that take place while awake are repeated during sleep. It is common knowledge that sleep is very important to our daily performance. I know that if I don’t get quality sleep my brain’s ability to process information is hampered. My body lets me know that it is deficient in the energy it needs that is provided from quality sleep. So this blog affirms that sleep and memory are not singular, but holistic for learning and information retention and retrieval.

References

Young, S. 2014. Seven Principles of Learning better from Cognitive Science, Retrieved from http://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2014/08/10/7-principles-learn-better-science/.

Learn Faster with the Feynman Technique

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrNqSLPaZLc

Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS)

http://www.cogneurosociety.org/sleeping-for-learning/

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