Ellen Langer

The Power of Mindful Learning ·

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A path to relief.… A fresh, thoughtful plea—notably free of ‘edubabble’ for exploring strategies of teaching and learning.
New York Times Book Review

Radical in its implications, this original and important work may change forever the views we hold about the nature of learning. In The Power of Mindful Learning, Ellen Langer uses her innovative theory of mindfulness, introduced in her influential earlier book to dramatically enhance the way we learn. In business, sports, laboratories, or at home, our learning is hobbled by certain antiquated and pervasive misconceptions. In this pithy, liberating, and delightful book she gives us a fresh, new view of learning in the broadest sense.

Such familiar notions as delayed gratification, ”the basics”, or even ”right answers”, are all incapacitating myths which Langer explodes one by one. She replaces them with her concept of mindful or conditional learning which she demonstrates, with fascinating examples from her research, to be extraordinarily effective.

Mindful learning takes place with an awareness of context and of the ever-changing nature of information. Learning without this awareness, as Langer shows convincingly, has severely limited uses and often sets on up for failure. With stunning applications to skills as diverse as paying attention, CPR, investment analysis, psychotherapy, or playing a musical instrument, The Power of Mindful Learning is for all who are curious and intellectually adventurous.