Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Middle Aged People Can Learn After All

Quick—before I forget—Barbara Strauch suggests “How to Train the Aging Brain” (New York Times, December 29, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/education/edlife/03adult-t.html?hp).

She identifies the strengths and challenges of the middle aged brain (strengths—the older we get, the better we can get the main idea of something; weaknesses—our brains are so stuffed with facts that retrieving them becomes increasingly difficult to do on demand).

Then she suggests techniques for building on the strengths and addresses the weaknesses. My favorite--forcing people to confront ideas that are different than their own. That should wake them up.

Oh—one more good piece of news. Strauch extended middle age to the upper 60s. I feel like she gave me back some of my youth!

(Strauch is publishing a book on the subject this April.)

3 comments:

Janet Clarey said...

Re: "our brains are so stuffed with facts that retrieving them becomes increasingly difficult to do on demand." I wonder how that changes as we get to the point where we don't have to remember as much because we can access things on demand. (thinking George Siemens comments on ' age of external knowledge'

Saul Carliner said...

Even external information has its limits. At some point, we still have to remember where we left the passwords to access all of that external information. And when we do, we still have to remember which of those 100 password-protected accounts to check.

softech said...

Interesting… I might try some of this on my blog, too. It’s quite interesting how you sometimes stop being innovative and just go for an accepted solution without actually trying to improve it… you make a couple of good points.
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