Antiracist Learning: Start with Small Steps

Part of our mission at the learning code is to empower you to advocate for system transformation in honor of the next generation of learners. The process of transforming the college education system starts by identifying and acknowledging problematic policies in your classes, institutions, and governments. From that perspective, I can think of nothing more pernicious for learning in college than the historical and living legacies of racist ideas and racist policies in the United States. When we engage in the struggle to re-design our higher education systems by centering antiracist policies, we work to make learning achievable and meaningful for every student who wants to earn a college degree. Learning how to be antiracist and how to advocate for antiracist policies does not happen automatically. To grow these skills, we must engage in deliberate effort. In this post, we explore a few antiracist learning practices.

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What is deep reading?

Reading is one of the most magical activities designed by the human mind. The written word provides a time travel machine in which ideas that exist in an author’s brain can jump across space and time to invigorate the brain of the reader. Reading also allows us to accelerate our learning by leveraging the expertise of the author. A good author might spend hundreds or even thousands of hours over multiple years researching, synthesizing, drafting, editing, publishing, and revising her work. That literature might be built on a whole collection of other writings that represent tens of thousands of hours from other authors. As readers, we reap the benefits of this labor without having to pay the upfront cost. When we read, we leverage work that was created on a time scale measured in years for a cost that can be measured in hours. With this in mind, one of the most powerful practices you can use to develop your learning skills is the habit of reading. This habit is particularly important in learning how to build a career that you love. In this blog post, we explore six different types of reading. This work sets a foundation for others posts on the subjects of learning, personal growth, and professional development.

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Schedule to Succeed: Plan to Fudge It Up

In this post,

Before each term begins, colleges ask students to sign up for classes. If you are a student who wants to routinely set and achieve your academic goals, your scheduling decisions are crucial to your long-term success. Unfortunately, schools seldom provide useful guidance on how to think about this high-impact decision. In this post, I break down a subtle aspect of making a class schedule. Specifically, I highlight the concept of a fudge ratio which quantifies the difference between how much time you budget for a task and how much time the task actually takes. We will use this work in later posts on scheduling traps, creating academic calendars, and making your institution work for you.

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Write down your goals, continued…

In this post, we explore the highest three levels of the horizons of focus model for organizing your goals. This is a continuation of my previous post on the same topic. The major purpose of this hierarchy is to support you in building strong motivation and grit as you work to complete your college degree. One powerful mechanism you can use to do so is to define, capture, and revise your goals on a routine basis.

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Write Down Your Goals

Your level of motivation is very important in determining how hard you work and what type of learning you do. Sadly, strong motivation cannot be purchased nor can it be built in an instant. Instead, motivation is something that you need to grow on a daily basis. One powerful way to cultivate your motivation is to develop and revise goals you have for your future. In this post, I help you explore your current goal-setting habits. I also discuss some steps of a larger framework for organizing different types of goals you might have as you craft a vision for your future. This is the first in a series of posts to encourage you to harness the power of your motivation by creating and refining your goals.

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We believe in you!

You can learn anything. You can develop any skills and cultivate any abilities. When you work hard, use effective learning strategies, persist in the face of difficulties, and reflect on your progress, you can become anything you want. Here at The Learning Code, we know these things are true about you. In this post, we introduce a working definition of learning to support these beliefs. We also share a powerful learning principle designed to help you develop positive beliefs about yourself and to protect you against negative messages that you might receive from your instructors, peers, media, or other people in your life.

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Our Mission at The Learning Code

Part of our mission here at The Learning Code is to help you develop habits of strategic deep learning. We focus our efforts on learners who want to complete a college degree in the United States. We do so by sharing with you a set of research-based learning principles designed to help you navigate your college experience. We also present you with a collection of effective learning practices leveraged by the college students that we work with on a daily basis. Further, we capture parts of their story that we hope will inspire you. Of course, we work hard to make sure that the principles that we share with you are universal and apply to anyone who has an interest in learning anything. But, the US higher education system is extremely complex and poses a seemingly endless sequence of unique challenges to each individual student. In this post, we discuss some of the shortcomings of the US college system and introduce our main goals for The Learning Code.

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