Honestly, I’ve been wanting to create something on the art of learning for a while now. I’ve tossed up between various options but have settled on a blog because it’s an easy and accessible way to interact with people. Unlike a book, blogs allow for constant iterations – I can update you on what the latest studies say about the most effective ways of learning.
So, in short, this blog is an outlet to share some methods, tools and techniques I’ve come across on the art of learning.
Life is a continual process of learning – whether it be in the work place, in the classroom or at the pub. We live in a world that rewards people for being able to quickly learn and distil complex pieces of knowledge. It’s therefore in our best interests to learn the best and most effective ways of learning.
Our schools and universities place a heavy focus on teaching students what to learn, not how to learn. It’s an oversight that I find astonishing. We’re just left to figure out how to learn on our own. And frustratingly, the most popular ways of learning (constant re-reading, highlighting and cramming) are the least effective.
The information in this blog is the information I wish I had when I first started studying at university. It’s been developed and refined over many years of work, studying, chatting with top-performing students and academics as well as trawling through academic research.
I hope you find the blog useful in helping you to become a better learner.
A little about me
My academic journey began in 2007 where I started a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University. I got off to a pretty bad start failing two subjects in my first year of university as I attempted to (stupidly) balance study with partying and starting a business.
I spent a long time researching and experimenting with different ways of learning to find the best and most effective methods. This helped me a lot. I ended up receiving prizes for topping four subjects, graduated with first class honours, and my dissertation was awarded the top mark of the cohort.
Most recently, I completed a Masters degree from the London School of Economics (LSE) and I’m currently undertaking a PhD at the LSE.
I’ve also worked as a policy adviser for the Australian Government, a consultant for multilateral organisations like the World Bank, and as an entrepreneur.
Study aside, I believe that beer is the best invention ever and that the best hangover cure is the beach. When I’m not in the classroom you’ll probably find me in a dark corner of a dingy pub or trying my best to pretend I can powerlift at the gym.
I love hearing from readers and people who are generally interested in studying so feel free to drop me a line if you’d like to chat further.
My values and beliefs:
- I think most people are not introspective enough.
- I think too often people are just motivated through insecurities, and if they weren’t the world would be for the better.
- I think most things can be (within reason) learned, yet many people believe the opposite.
- I believe we should all strive to be polymaths.
- I believe we are all fundamentally creative beings and we should spend more time creating and less time reacting.
- I believe we shouldn’t be defined by one thing – a job or a degree.
- I believe life is too short to put up with high maintenance people.
- I never want to stop learning.
- I never want to be closed-minded as I believe that’s one of the worst characteristics a person can have.
- I believe we should expect some friendships to dissolve and end abruptly for no reason, just like we expect to create new friendships just as abruptly.
- I believe we’re too used to viewing everything as a commodity, so it’s up to us to remind ourselves that a group of friends isn’t just a network and a new idea isn’t just a disruption.
- I believe academia needs to get off its high horse and make itself accessible to the masses.
- I believe people need to work out how to learn before they work out what to learn.