Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Learning to Learn: the need for a new discipline

University comes in Portugal after twelve long schooling years. However, when I interact with my students, they still study for the exam, often within the last week, and my fingers are more than enough to count those who try learning more than studying.

At this point, I ask: what have they learn about learning for twelve years? Regrettably, the answer is nothing.

Universities should have a first-year discipline to teach students on learning to learn. I wonder why we haven’t such class.

Maybe it’s because we think this should be part of students background. I agree. But one thing is our wish, and another is the reality.

Maybe we think it’s a skill developed at a personal level, becoming something outside the mission of a university.

Or maybe we should do something about it.

There are several books which are excellent starting points. I would recommend these:

  • “How We Learn” by Benedict Carey
  • “Learn Better” by Ulrich Boser
  • “Never Stop Learning” by Bradley Staats

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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