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Building the Intentional UniversityMinerva and the Future of Higher Education$
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Stephen M. Kosslyn and Ben Nelson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037150

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037150.001.0001

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Unlearning to Learn

Unlearning to Learn

(p.139) 10 Unlearning to Learn
Building the Intentional University

Stephen M. Kosslyn

Robin B. Goldberg

Teri Cannon

The MIT Press

We have learned many lessons in the course of implementing the Minerva curriculum and pedagogy. One of the most striking lessons is how important it is for both faculty and students to be open to unlearning many previous assumptions and habits. For example, we have identified what we call the “illusion of learning”—which occurs when faculty and students believe that the more notes students take during a lecture, the more they have learned. Yet, the evidence is clear: Lectures are not an effective way to learn, and pale in comparison to active learning. Although active learning often takes more time than lectures and requires much more intellectual engagement from both faculty and students, it provides lasting benefits. Similarly, we have discovered that active learning requires a different view of what is an appropriate goal for in-class experiences–not information transmission and memorization but rather the internalization of skills, concepts and ways to use knowledge. In this chapter, we summarize many of the assumptions and habits that both faculty and students need to unlearn in order to learn effectively at Minerva.

Keywords:   Pedagogy, active learning, science of learning, student-centered learning, lectures

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