Sunday, October 30, 2011

How to be an Engaged Learner

Last week, I posted about Daniel Kahneman's concept of engaged versus lazy thinking.  Of course, we all want to be engaged thinkers.  The key question then is how do we become engaged thinkers.  One answer is contained in an article on Mind Hacks entitled "Make Study More Effective, the Easy Way."   The authors state that "if you want to learn something, you have to think about it deeply."  In other words, "You’ll remember better (and understand much better) if you try and re-organise the material you’ve been given in your own way."

Accordingly, law students should brief all the cases that they read (as we tell them to), rather than using canned outlines.   Students should also do legal skills exercises in synthesis, syllogisms (I will have a post on syllogisms on Tuesday), and case analogies.  Most importantly, they should outline the course themselves, rather than than relying on commercial outlines or ones done by other students.


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