sexta-feira, 20 de julho de 2012

What Would You Like to Learn on Your Own?


After homework, extra curricular activities, social life and leisure, you may have little time to do anything else. But have you ever made an effort to learn about  something outside the classroom, not related to anything you’re studying in school? How would you use a daily “learning hour”?

In the Education Life article “Renaissance Man,” Diana Kapp writes about Jeremy Gleick, a University of California, Los Angeles sopho more who takes an hour a day to learn something new — every day, no exceptions. Mr. Gleick’s main rule is that the subject matter can’t have anything to do with his school work. To date, he has spent more than 1,000 hours on his project:
It all began junior year at Berkeley High with the philosophizing that came with the run-up to college applications. “I was spending a lot of time asking, ‘Why are we here, and to what end?’” Mr. Gleick says. He concluded that learning was what mattered most. He sat down and watched a documentary on gamma ray bursts. A few days later, he did some reading on transhumanism, and then spent an hour two days in a row trying to become ambidextrous. After a month straight, he misseda day, which some how felt off. Since then he’s kept up a perfect streak.
The topics, neatly logged on an enormous spread sheet, organized by category and subcategories, jump from left brain to right, through civilizations, from astrophysics and alchemy to the Zulu. His chart tally reveals he has spent a total of 17 hours on art history, 39 on the Civil War period and 14 onweaponry. On the lighter side, he has tackled juggling,  glass blowing, banjo and mandolin.
Most material he finds, for free, on iTunes U, including full courses from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford lasting 20 to 30 days, though he doesn’t always do them consecutively. He often has no topic in mind, and trips over something on the home page. For how-to learning (card tricks, juggling), his go-to site is YouTube. He has used Internet Sacred Text Archive to source myths, and Fora for conference lectures on the Hubble Space Telescope and psychology of lying.
Students: Tell us about a time when you learned something not related to your studies in school. How did the experience compare with learning in the classroom? How would you use an hour a day to expand your horizons? What would you tackle, and why? Might you under take a self-directed learning project like this? Why or why not?


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