Learning From the Top Down

Like many people, when exploring a new topic I get ‘Ah Ha!’ moments. I had one last night while watching the first lesson video of the fast.ai deep learning course. At about 30 minutes in Jeremy mentions learning from the top down vs bottom up.

‘Ah Ha! This is why I struggle to learn in a traditional classroom.’

In the video Rachel chimes in that their method is based on David Perkins - The Whole Game and his book Making Learning Whole. When I have really learned a topic, I know the end goal before I start. As I noted in my post on Learning Markdown I was exposed to the end product of Markdown several times before I got enough motivation and momentum to dig in and learn it. Recently I took a statistics class, I did very well because I knew where I wanted to apply what I was learning. Knowing that at the end I could put those concepts to use right away motivated me to study and really learn.

With the Fast.ai course, I am a little shady on the end goal and how I will apply it. Guess I need to figure that out now.

Additional Reading

David Perkins - The Whole Game

Video: David Perkins Live at Harvard University - 40 Years of Teaching Thinking: Revolution, Evolution, and What Next?

Written on February 1, 2018