Growth Mindset: Getting Started

Holistic Learning

Are you ready for “Learning on Steroids”?

Imagine  being able to learn anything in a fraction of the time, while understanding it much more deeply. That is the power of holistic learning.

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Going Deeper

Why Holistic Learning?

As Cal Newport noted, the future will be owned by those that can rapidly learn rare and valuable skills. Holistic learning is a very effective way to do that for almost any subject.

What is the Holistic Learning?

Holistic learning is a method popularized by Scott Young that allows anyone to Learn More, Study Less. It’s the opposite of how most of us attempt to learn, which is through Rote Memorization: think flash cards, State capitals, math formulas, history dates, etc.

If you imagine our brain as a giant web of loose knowledge, holistic learning attempts to quickly connect new ideas to concepts the mind already understands.  For instance, to envision the size of protons vs. eletrons, you might envision the sun and Jupiter. The result is fewer repetitions of the material, ideally one rep, and a near permanent recall and understanding of the concept.

Young says there are 5 types of information:

  1. Arbitrary – dates, facts, names with no logical relationship (holistic learning worst for this)
  2. Opinion – non-factual information 
  3. Process – information as a skill  (holistic learning worst for this)
  4. Concrete – tangible information (holistic learning best for this)
  5. Abstract – intangible information (holistic learning best for this)

He also says there are 5 stages of holistic learning:

  1. Acquire – Read, listen or see the information
  2. Understand – You understand what was written or said, even if it seems hard or complex
  3. Explore – You connect the idea to other things you already know in the subject.
  4. Debug – You make distinctions for where your connections might not apply.
  5. Apply – You find real-life situations where the information applies and interest you personally.

Holistic learning uses a variety of techniques, such as metaphors and visceralization, to simplify new concepts. It takes months of practice to use these effectively, but will pay off for the rest of your life.

Our goal for this session is that you come away with the skills needed to begin practicing holistic learning techniques in the classroom.

Session Resources

Challenges

Challenge #1

Practice the art of holistic learning.

Challenge #2

For this exercise you will find an article on any topic, and attempt to understand it by taking holistic learning notes.

Challenge #3

For this exercise you will find an video on any topic, and attempt to understand it by taking holistic learning notes.

Join the Conversation

What will you try to learn first using Holistic Learning methods? How important is it to you to learn more quickly?

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