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The Humans Can Learn Better Project
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an idea for FREEDOM-BASED learning
an idea for FREEDOM-BASED learning

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"In minutes these children learned important life lessons – social emotional skills that are excruciatingly hard to try and teach children. Through this real life experience, they learned how to stand up for themselves, how to work through anger and frustration, and most importantly – they learned empathy."

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“The single most important implication of research in dyslexia is not ensuring that we don’t derail the development of a future Leonardo or Edison; it is making sure that we do not miss the potential of any child. Not all children with dyslexia have extraordinary talents, but every one of them has a unique potential that all too often goes unrealized because we don’t know how to tap it.” Maryanne Wolf, Proust and the Squid

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"To develop ideas that could be considered creative, the brain has to be both stable and flexible at the same time. Brains perform just this type of balancing act every second of every day. “The brain maintains a duality of systems that are constantly introducing flexibility into our thinking and then trying to stabilize our thinking,” Bilder said. The brain evaluates a new stimuli, compares it the plan originally set and then decides on the optimal degree of flexibility or stability to pursue. This cycle happens three times per second."

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"Dr. Teresa Belton told the BBC cultural expectations that children should be constantly active could hamper the development of their imagination."

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"Although we have the idea that learning flows from instruction, when we interfere with natural learning children show us with stubbornness or disinterest that it has nothing to do with coercion. Children often ignore what they aren’t ready to learn only to return to the same concept later, comprehending it with ease and pleasure. What they do is intrinsically tied to why they do it, because they know learning is purposeful. They are curious, motivated, and always pushing in the direction of mastery."

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"If I'm commissioned to do the costumes for an 18th-century opera, or something like that, I will do a lot of research, because it's interesting, not because it's what I'm supposed to do."

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"Students who are presented with unfamiliar concepts, asked to work through them, and then taught the solution significantly outperform those who are taught through formal instruction and problem-solving. The approach is both utterly intuitive—we learn from mistakes—and completely counter-intuitive: letting kids flail around with unfamiliar math concepts seems both inefficient and potentially damaging to their confidence."

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"The problems with grit, however, go well beyond the fact that it’s not exactly a fresh idea. To begin with, not everything is worth doing, let alone doing for extended periods, and not everyone who works hard is pursuing something worthwhile. On closer inspection, the concept of grit turns out to be dubious, as does the evidence cited to support it. Persistence can actually backfire and distract from more important goals."

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Nick saw a TED Talk by education researcher Sugata Mitra about his famous experiment in India. It showed how children living in Indian slums could teach themselves to use a computer.

"It's just incredible that that sort of intrinsic motivation exists," Nick says. "It seems like a really, really powerful force."

That led him to come up with his own unusual experiment in learning. He would spend the final trimester of his junior year learning on his own.

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"No opinion poll can fully capture the impact — or allure — of attending a world-famous institution. But this isn’t the first time studies have documented no edge for highly selective schools. Previous studies have shown no link between expensive private colleges and later salary for graduates. Income is much more closely tied to a person’s choice of a major, which is a finding the Gallup survey also supported."
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