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

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

by Ulrich Boser


$24.99 View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


For centuries, experts have argued that learning was about memorizing information: You're supposed to study facts, dates, and details; burn them into your memory; and then apply that knowledge at opportune times. But this approach to learning isn’t nearly enough for the world that we live in today, and in Learn Better journalist and education researcher Ulrich Boser demonstrates that how we learn can matter just as much as what we learn.

In this brilliantly researched book, Boser maps out the new science of learning, showing how simple techniques like comprehension check-ins and making material personally relatable can help people gain expertise in dramatically better ways. He covers six key steps to help you “learn how to learn,” all illuminated with fascinating stories like how Jackson Pollock developed his unique painting style and why an ancient Japanese counting device allows kids to do math at superhuman speeds. Boser’s witty, engaging writing makes this book feel like a guilty pleasure, not homework.

Learn Better
will revolutionize the way students and society alike approach learning and makes the case that being smart is not an innate ability—learning is a skill everyone can master. With Boser as your guide, you will be able to fully capitalize on your brain’s remarkable ability to gain new skills and open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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)

From the Publisher

"Learning makes us human, yet few of us truly understand how the brain, the heart, and the body work together to create new knowledge. Learn Better pulls back the curtain on the hidden ways we are wired for learning, in ways that are alternately humorous, surprising, and profound."
—Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute and author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

"Brimming with helpful insights and interesting stories, this surprising and engaging new book provides an important, much-needed introduction to the science of learning. It belongs on the bookshelf of every learner.”
—Linda Darling-Hammond, President of the Learning Policy Institute and Charles E. Ducommon Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University

"This critically important book offers valuable—and fun to master—insights about how to learn deeply and meaningfully in a time when all the 'knowledge' in the world is just a swipe of the finger away."
—Laura Moser, former education blogger at Slate

"Learning is the project of a lifetime. In this humane and insightful book, Ulrich Boser reveals the tools that everyone from grade school children to their parents in the workplace can use to keep pace in a fast-changing world."
—Kevin Carey, author of The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere

“This book is a great read. I enjoyed every moment of it. I enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on my own experiences in the classroom and my own experiences as a student.”
—John King, Former U.S. Secretary of Education

"Learn Better is at once comprehensive and delightful, filled to the brim with definitive insights on how we learn best. Boser is an engaging guide who has thoroughly sifted through the vast research on the science of learning to offer key takeaways that can be put into practice immediately. Essential reading for educators, parents, and anyone who wants to learn, once and for all, what it actually takes to 'learn better.'"
—Christine Gross-Loh, bestselling author of The Path and Parenting Without Borders

"Where was this book when I was struggling through undergrad, fighting off sleep as I burnt the proverbial midnight oil and laid the foundation of my current carpal tunnel condition from taking copious class notes that I now know—all these years later—were all but worthless? As Ulrich Boser reveals in an engrossing and highly entertaining way, the retention of facts, dates, and principles—learning—isn’t about what you do, but how you do it. One can’t simply vacuum up data, instead one has to “meaningfully process information.” Best of all for this old dog, anyone can master new skills by following the straightforward techniques detailed in Learn Better."
—Carl Chancellor, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623365264
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 03/07/2017
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 780,937
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt


Excerpted from "Learn Better"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Ulrich Boser.
Excerpted by permission of Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews