My MOOC/Summer Reading List Experience

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While I did not wait until the week before school to get my summer reading done;  I have delayed verifying my summer reading and completion of “Learning How to

Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects by University of California, San Diego on Coursera.  Certificate earned on August 28, 2016”.

That engagement prompted me to expand my summer reading, including A Mind for Numbers, by the lead course instructor, Barbara Oakley.  I have appreciated the weekly emails suggesting other resources as well as the many titles included for consideration within the course sections.

In addition to the summer specific titles, I am sharing a list of related books I have found helpful over the past couple of years.  The list provides a hint of the explosion of published research and popular titles available on the topic of learning how to learn.  Neuronal studies and educational theories turning into meaningful classroom and individual practice is promising.  The challenge will be to incorporate into every school curriculum what is being established as best practices and to change the fixed mindsets and habits of students and teachers alike.

Meditations (at least the Hays translation) is included as just a good book to have around.  I have quoted Marcus and Aristotle often, as do many other people.  For example, Aristotle’s “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” may be over 2,000 years old, but is increasingly being used in many contexts.

If you have a title that MUST be included in this list, please comment.  I know Barbara Oakley has another book coming out in the spring; and, since I have not as yet read “Moonwalking with Einstein, it is not listed.

The Power of Forgetting: Six Essential Skills to Clear Out Brain Clutter and Become the Sharpest, Smartest You

Mike Byster

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It

Gabriel Wyner

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens

Benedict Carey

A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)

Barbara Oakley

Peak: Secrets from The New Science of Expertise

Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

Ego is the Enemy

Ryan Holiday

Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence

Daniel Goleman

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance

Josh Waitzkin

The Brain: The Story of You

David Eagleman

The Organized Mind:  Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Daniel J. Levitin

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Angela Duckworth

Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You From Ordinary to Extraordinary

Linda Kaplan Thaler & Robin Koval

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Charles Duhigg

The Working Memory Advantage: Train Your Brain to Function Stronger, Smarter, Faster

Tracy Alloway & Ross Alloway

Smarter Than You Think:  How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better

Clive Thompson

Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better

Doug Lemov, Erica Woolway, Katie Yezzi

Mindful Work: How Meditation is Changing Business from the Inside Out

David Gelles

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

John Medina

The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play

Harry Lorayne & Jerry Lucas

Mindset:  How You Can Fulfill Your Potential

Carol S. Dweck


Marcus Aurelius (Gregory Hays Translation and Introduction)

Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

Geoff Colvin

The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning

James E. Zull