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The Power of Mindful Learning

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  185 ratings  ·  29 reviews
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 mindulness, introduced in her influential earlier book, to dramatically enhance the way we learn.In business, sports, laboratories, or at home, our learning is hobbled b ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 17th 1998 by Da Capo Press (first published 1997)
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Read this during a grad level theory of learning class.

This book is a very easy read due to its simple language, clear examples, and brevity (less than 150 pp.) The author, Langer, bases her theory on 7 myths in education, including "learning the basics so that they are second nature" "paying attention means staying focused on one thing at a time" "delaying gratification is important" "rote memorization is necessary" "forgetting is a problem" "intelligence is knowing what's out there" "there ar
Paul Reynolds
The Power of Mindful Learning is a bookshelf essential for educators. Dr. Ellen Langer shows - based on over two decades of research on learning at Harvard University, traditional education makes the mistake of serving up “packets of information” and expecting students to digest them. Our real mission as educators, she points out, is to inspire learners to WANT to open those packets. One of the key triggers to do that is to provide context and personal meaning to each potential learning moment. ...more
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I wanted to like this book more...I even read it a second time during a long plane ride to Boston...but found it lacking. Langer is a proponent of "mindful" activity (which she is careful to distinguish from Buddhist, Advaitist, etc. concepts of this, but which she notes shares some similarities). She mostly describes and cites studies by her graduate students showing how a "mindful framing" enhances performance outcomes, and tries to debunk what she calls "seven myths" of how people learn.

Edisi bahasa Indonesia dari buku ini diterbitkan oleh ESENSI (Erlangga Group). Lihat link:

Dalam buku ini, Ellen Langer menggugat tujuh mitos atau cara berpikir yang begitu mengakar, yang merusak proses pembelajaran. Ellen juga menjelaskan bagaimana kita dapat menghindari efeknya yang melemahkan dalam berbagai situasi. Tujuh mitos pembelajaran yang menyesatkan tersebut antara lain:

1. Kemampuan-kemampuan dasar harus dipelajari dengan baik sehingga menjadi si
What is learning? How do we learn? If someone is teaching us, are we necessarily learning? Does education sometimes stifle creativity? In order to scratch the surface of these seemingly unanswerable questions, one can look to the writings of the first tenured philosophy professor at Harvard University, Ellen J. Langer. Langer has published books covering a multitude of idea based topics from decision making to aging. But through her book The Power of Mindful Learning, Langer transforms ones pers ...more
I only gave this three stars because the material is familiar to me, however, for those new to the concept of mindfulness, this is a good way to develop an understanding of this area. I have come to believe in Langer's statement which predates Dweck's fixed/growth mindset theory: "If we fail to explore several perspectives, we risk confusing the stability of our own mindset with the stability of the phenomenon itself." She ends with an important feature of education, pay attention to our questio ...more
Aseem Mahajan
Interesting experiments and outcomes but could have used a clearer definition of mindfulness. Also would have liked her thoughts on limitations of mindfulness as perhaps could not be applied to making public policy where the convenience of rigidity in "rules" outweighs the benefits of mindfulness.
It is a marvelous piece of work. A must read for anyone involved in the education system. More specifically, anyone who is involved with graduate/ masters/ PhD recruitment would be benefited from the book.
I am a fan of mindfulness and the significant role that it can play in a person's life. I also love education (life long learning) and I thought a combination of the two would prove insightful. Unfortunately this book fell short in my expectation. This is a good theoretical presentation on the role that mindfulness can play in learning though there is little in the application of. And perhaps I am stuck in my; own paradigm but I think that education needs to provide some context for learning, it ...more
Dec 21, 2007 Chazzle rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: dedicated professional teachers
I read this book because I like to explore different ways of learning. The book was too deep and difficult for my purposes, however. Probably, the fault lies more with me than with the book itself - it just wasn't a match, for the most part.

Still, it did have some interesting ideas about dispensing with authoritarian attitudes in learning truths. E.g., say you were learning to play Ode to Joy; just because it's a classic, the written sheet music is certainly NOT the only way to play it, at all.
Victor Barger
Mar 19, 2009 Victor Barger rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Fascinating book on how people learn and what affects one's ability to learn. Ellen Langer, a professor of psychology at Harvard, draws on her academic research to challenge the prevailing wisdom on teaching, learning, and intelligence. Although this book is short and easy to read, it offers much to reflect upon. I would say it's a "must read" for educators and parents, and a worthwhile read for everyone else!
Brian Beatty
Though I agree with the concepts, I felt like it relied too much on anecdotes. I understand that it is necessary to convey the concepts to most readers, but it would be great to have some data presented.
It could also have used a perspective on the importance of written records of nature, science, and the humanities. A mindful learner would want to keep detailed records of everything, as that is the only way anyone in the future, even oneself, can reevaluate what they think they know.
Joan Young
This book really makes us think about how we often take away the power of learning when we "teach" too much instead of letting kids discover. It really helped me to rethink many of my practices and really question the objectives and outcome of what I do. I love Ellen Langer as a storyteller. She captures my attention and helps me return to realizing how powerful mindfulness is in overall well-being, not just in learning.
This Professor of Psychology at Harvard University lives up to her credentials by presenting convincing, well researched arguments for mindful thinking, or what it seems is merely "thinking outside the box". She examines the value of "correct" answers, delayed gratification, rote memorization, forgettiing, intelligence testing, staying focused and learning the basics.
A light presentation of some heavy subjects.
Didn't connect with the writing style of this author, but Langer has had a long career thinking critically and creatively about a variety of topics in her field. The book shares content worth contemplating and thankfully, the book is not a long one. Wonder if reading her earlier book Mindfulness would have helped contextualize the content more effectively.
Caroline Hooper
I am reading this for my professional learning community. It looks interesting and should generate some insights and spark good discussion.

Glad I am done with this book. I had to finish it because it was the selection of my professional learning community, but the book did not speak to me--at all.
I thought the basic idea was very good, but I wanted more information on how to use it. I would have liked some techniques instead of just anecdotes.

This also seemed geared much more towards teachers than the general public. It was definitely food for thought.
While I'm a huge fan of the message of this book, I didn't like the writing style or the pace of it very much (it took too long for Langer to get to the most meaningful parts). Still, I think every educator should read this.
Tanja Korvenmaa
This book contains stories of many interesting scientific experiments about learning. It proves many points that I've also been observing.
Actually just re-read this for a job presentation, and loved it both times.... Good for anyone who teaches or manages people especially.
Jeanne Haselkorn
quick read and worthwhile info, especially for thinking about how children learn and what to NOT discourage.
I read this in 1997, but it still points me in the same direction every time I get it out.
Little on the breezy side, but still beneficial even if somewhat slight
Mrs. Kucinski
Good book but not as eye opening as Langer's first book Mindfulness
Jim Duncan
meta knowledge - knowing the limits of your understanding
Interesting ideas presented quickly.
Learning as it should be
Gaby marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
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Ellen Langer, Yale PhD, Harvard Professor of Psychology, artist. Among other honors, she is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Distinguished Scientist Awards, the World Congress Award, the NYU Alumni Achievement Award, and the Staats award for Unifying Psychology, and has authored eleven books and over 200 research articles on the illusion of control, perceived control, successful
More about Ellen J. Langer...
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