Ultrealearning author Scott Young explains how new learnings are best remembered when combine with a practice activity.
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I'm currently deep in this sort of research process of like sorting all these different viewpoints of like, some people say this and some people say the total opposite of that, and I'm trying to like, read all the evidence.
So there's still a lot that's going to shake out, but I can give some just general basic ideas that I think are broadly true. Whereas the details and specific sequencing and a favored pedagogical approach, that there's still some controversy about that. But I would say that when you're dealing with, let's use the example of marketing, I think because marketing is one of those things that it's not something you practice in the way that you practice a language like marketing is, well, you have marketing projects that you work on and they're kind of big, but there's no like, okay, you're just getting lots and lots of feedback.
And so I think the there's a couple ingredients that go into learning any kind of skill like this. Well, one is you need to have background knowledge. With marketing, I don't think that's such a big problem. It's not quantum mechanics, but you know, still, you need to know like basic ideas of like, if you were to learn marketing in a specific area, let's say like, you're doing Facebook ads or something.
You need to understand how Facebook ads work. So, you know, reading some articles and understanding the basics is important. The second is that you need to have some kind of activity, I think, where you can test what you know, and where you can apply it. And so I think that's also something that's important.
And so I tend to be in favor of a kind of I'll call it like a practice centric view of learning because there's ample evidence that when we just read a book, for instance we don't remember a lot of what we read. A lot of it gets forgotten and a lot of it doesn't get applied when you're in situations that actually need it.
So what you need to do is you need to be able to read the book, but then have a lot of experience applying it in the kinds of situations that you want to do. So for me, I tend to view learning in that lens of that if you wanted to learn marketing the right way is to kind of pick off a particular section of marketing you want to learn, read some books that advocate for some sort of exercises or practice, and then do the practice. And I think if we're talking about like online business, obviously the practice you want to do is applying it to your actual business. And so I think working on sort of small-scale projects where you can test out your understanding of these concepts is really important.
Now, if we're talking about like the sort of education, I want to understand marketing and go back. That can be a little trickier, right? Because now you're not just learning it to apply to a particular problem that you have, but you're learning it to try to have, you want to understand all there is about marketing.
And so I think, again, you can do this, you can break it down into some books and read some concepts. I still feel like the the practice approach needs to be there, but what the practice is might change depending on how you want to use it. So, you know, the classic approach is just to do like find problem sets with solutions that you can practice marketing.
You can write essays, you can work on things. I think the doing part of it is something that's often neglected that we focus on learning just as I'm going to read this book. And then there is a kind of gap between that and when we actually want to apply it, when we actually want to use it doing the real thing.
So I think that that practice activity is quite valuable.