I'm a newbie here (more about me later in another post), but thought
this group might appreciate the following:

:) Lori

(I'm in HSC and San Diego Education yahoo groups.....in case you
recognize me! :)

(mind you, this info has passed through the filter of "my" brain,
and are from my own notations and thoughts, so I encourage you to
get the book!)

According to Ellen Langer, author of "The Power of Mindful
Learning", the Seven <<<MYTHS>>> of Learning:

MINDFUL learning involves the continuous creation of new categories,
openness to new information and the implicit awareness of more than
one perspective.

MindLESS learning involves entrapment in established categories,
automatic behaviors in response to new signals and single

1) MYTH: Basic skills have to be ingrained to the point of being
second nature. REALITY: We do not have to practice skills to the
point of them being automatic. We need to try out new skills in a
variety of ways, in different contexts and adjust them to our
strengths and experiences. Masters and experts at any skill have
learned to put their own twist on "the basics". Trial and error are
fruitful. Learning something abstract (pen/paper or in the mind
only) and then concrete (hands, real life, for yourself) is
backwards. It should be the other way around.

2) MYTH:Paying attention means staying still and focusing on only one
thing at a time. REALITY: "Paying attention" has been misconstrued
to mean "focus on one thing for the prescribed amount of time
without focusing on anything else." Sometimes the distracting thing
warrants our attention and has fruitful learning associated with
it. Sometimes it is a stress reliever (which then we must ask, what
is stressful?). Sometimes we are distracted because we need to
think about the task at hand in a different way. It is natural for
the mind to seek variety and novelty. Mindless focus actually
desensitizes a person to the object.

3) MYTH: Delaying gratification is important (work vs. play,
rewards, etc). REALITY: Work should not be wrought with pressure,
deadlines, fear of failure, fatigue, lack of choice and drudgery.
You can turn any work into "play". Reward/punishment reinforces the
negative value of "getting what one deserves" - for the child and
their perceptions of others. Do things for the fun of doing them.
Find different ways to do them. Make them fun.

4) MYTH: Rote memorization is necessary. REALITY: Memorization as a
strategy has no personal meaning and is not correlated with
successful application. We remember things of interest, things we
need to know and that pertain to our world.

5) MYTH: Forgetting is a problem. REALITY: It is good to be able to
take a fresh look at things. To unlearn something is more difficult
than to learn it. Many paradigms need to be abandoned for new ones
as we gain information. Too much "fact" knowledge weighs down
creativity. Mindful information can be recalled in a variety of
contexts, whereas mindless information has to be recalled within a
similar context in which it was originally stored.

6) MYTH:Intelligence is the ability to know "the facts out there"
and go from problem to solution in a linear, rapid fashion. REALITY:
One's own assumption of what is "really out there to know" compared
with one's own self evaluation of how well it is known can damage
the self esteem. Both "what is out there" to know and how much you
know change constantly. Intelligence is the ability to see from
multiple perspectives, knowing that none of them is optimal in all

7) MYTH: There are right and wrong answers. REALITY: Intelligence
is hobbled in our society by the obsession to get to achiev desired
outcome. Some answers are fitting for some contexts and unfitting
for others. Math presented in a step-by-step, "this is how you do
it" fashion is mindless. Better than teaching the skills is for the
person to "learn to learn". Believe in your child's unlimited

We should not value what we do well and devalue what we do not. We
shoudl not value some subjects over others. We should not consider
ourselves static and able to learn and function in limited ways. In
truth, we constantly change and adapt.