Remember those all-nighters back in college--staying up till all hours memorizing the plu-perfect form of the verb avoir or the names and dates of succession of all the kings of England? Now remember facing that final exam and having your mind go blank? According to Professor Ellen J. Langer, author of The Power of Mindful Learning, those sleepless nights and agonizing memorization were probably for naught. In her book, Professor Langer seeks to prove that real learning takes place in a "mindful" environment, one that provides a context for the subject we are studying and allows us to bring something of ourselves into the process. As an example, she points to a study of two groups of piano students, one of which was taught through repetition and memorization of scales, while the other was encouraged to respond to their own thoughts and emotions. The second group became more competent and more creative.
Professor Langer espouses a more holistic approach to teaching than is generally in vogue today. For example, she believes that forgetting can be an essential component to learning: just as smokers who have attempted to quit before have a better chance of succeeding in future attempts, so people who have forgotten information and skills and then relearn them may remember better the second time. The Power of Mindful Learning is sure to raise a great deal of debate among educators, and this is a good thing; after all, what old dog couldn't stand to learn a new trick or two? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A wonderfully thoughtful and thought-provoking follow-up to the author's earlier study Mindfulness (1989), this time exploring the ill effects of mindlessness in education. After long and careful research, Langer (Psychology/Harvard Univ.) has distilled the basic philosophy of our current, flawed educational system into seven commonly held myths: The basics must be learned so well that they become second nature; paying attention means being focused on one thing at a time; delaying gratification is important; rote memorization is necessary; forgetting is a problem; intelligence is knowing ``what's out there''; and there are right and wrong answers. Showing how many of the problems with education today can be traced to the seven myths and teachers' efforts to mold students with them, Langer counters with five principles of her own, the basis of what she calls ``sideways learning'': openness to novelty; alertness to distinction; sensitivity to different contexts; implicit, if not explicit, awareness of multiple perspectives; and orientation in the present. She offers alternative approaches based on her five principles, with startling results. For example, when Langer and her colleagues rewrote a chapter from a standard text on finance so that facts were presented as conditional rather than absolute, students who were tested on their creative use of the material did significantly better, and enjoyed the reading more, than those using the original text. Langer's arguments are extremely persuasive and supported with meticulous research. While it's not always clear how to implement her findings, especially for the individual who has been trained in the seven-myth method, this is still an invaluable first step to solving many of the problems of our educational system today. An excellent introduction to what might be (and certainly should be) the next paradigm shift in education. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Quality book in fine condition delivered in a timely way. Thanks.Published 2 months ago by thomas e.
Fascinating book, loads to think about and consider. As a psychologist it was saying much i already knew and believe. Her style sometimes bogs down a bit. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Caroljean K. Rodesch
Great book! This book may have been written years ago but its information is very timely!Published 6 months ago by LAHeat
Liked the info in the book, I will pass it on to a granddaughter that is a teacher. The best is teaching others there is alternative thinking and options available.Published 8 months ago by P. J. Ryan