How to Learn Science

July 17, 2018

San Antonio was fortunate to have an excellent speaker last week as part of Trinity University's Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series! Robert Bjork, PhD came to present on "How we learn vs How we think we learn." His background in studying learning behaviors spans 3 decades and his award list is long and prestigious. He gave a very entertaining talk about how the brain can recall messages better under certain teaching techniques. However his take home message was that "we are ALL guilty of assuming we made every topic/message extremely understandable." Dr. Bjork provided a wonderful example of tapping out the rhythm of a song on a desktop in his classes and asking his students to identify what song he is tapping. They can never guess it! When he is tapping, he has the added environment of hearing the melody and lyrics in his head... All his students hear is the tapping.

So in an effort to not provide you only with tapping, we will explore new topics with a variety of medias, illustrations, and techniques.  An interesting blog by Seth Godin came out earlier this year with a way to provide some context to talking about science. He points out that you start learning science with the scientific method. This is different in most other classes in that there is usually a history or backstory to learn first. Science has the great benefit of always being around us without us even realizing it! Gravity existed before Newton discovered it. The planets rotated around the stars before we knew what the big golden orb in the sky was. Science is all around us! We just have to discover it.

Armed with that knowledge, we can come to develop a context and vocabulary around a new topic and know that it will always make sense. Science isn't magic, although sometimes it can appear fantastic and out of this world. Hopefully, our next blog will entice and encourage us to explore a great new topic - the neuroscience of the unconscious mind as we welcome Dr. Heather Berlin to San Antonio.

 Think Big on Twitter (@MindScienceFdn), Facebook (Mind Science Foundation), or email us (mcohen@mindscience.org) any ideas or questions!

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