Learn Better: Mastering the Skill for Success in Life, Business, and School, or How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything

Ulrich Boser. Rodale, $24.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-62336-526-4
Boser’s (The Leap: The Science of Trust and Why It Matters) thought-provoking work unpacks the complex subject of how we learn, and offers attractive ideas, tips, and approaches to inspire the reader to “learn better.” His work has the engaging style of a TED Talk, littered with personal anecdotes about his own struggles and successes with learning, crammed with descriptions of exciting research in the area, and punctuated with interactive “pop quizzes.” In an information-rich and technologically supercharged society, Boser describes the diminishing value of prior knowledge and correspondingly increasing importance of acquiring new expertise. Through a review of research, he extrapolates a systematic learning approach: value, target, develop, extend, relate, rethink. He also profiles individual learners. One, a high school student, adds up large numbers in her head by flicking her fingers in the air to do the calculations on a visualized abacus. Another, a surgeon, drastically reduces his team’s error rate by documenting every error made by himself and staff during surgery—a demonstration that feedback develops expertise. This work infuses a sense of fresh excitement and accessibility into a topic sometimes considered stodgy or overly cerebral. Readers will be left craving something new to learn. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2017
Release date: 03/07/2017
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