QUICK REVIEW: How We Learn – The Surprising Truth about When, Where and Why it Happens

Ho we learnHow We Learn – The Surprising Truth about When, Where and Why it Happens

Benedict Carey

Macmillan

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9388-2

Karin Schimke

“The science of learning,” says this hugely popular New York Times writer, “is…a study of the living brain and how it manages the streaming sights, sounds and scents of daily life. That it does so at all is miracle enough. That it does so routinely is beyond extraordinary.”

You do not have to be a scientist to be fascinated by the brain, and you do not have to be a swot to understand and enjoy this book, which explains that the brain is “not like a muscle” but is something else altogether, “sensitive to mood, to timing, to circadian rhythms, as well as to location and environment”.

The topic of learning remains one of ongoing fascination no matter what age you are. Carey demonstrates, in his chatty, accessible way, how it needn’t be quite as fraught as it has been made to seem.

  • This review first appeared in the Cape Times in November 2014

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