Currents 020: Barbara Oakley on Teaching Fluency

Barbara Oakley talks to Jim about fluency across domains, understanding-centered learning, education evolution, online learning, and much more…

In this Currents episode, Jim and Barbara Oakley start by talking about her eclectic background & career, then go on to talk about her article, How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math: how a liberal arts person learned advanced math and became an engineering professor, fluency across domains, understanding-centered learning & the limits of procedural understanding, cultural-based education differences, slow educational evolution, online education, primary vs secondary biological learning, the direct instruction education method, the role of confidence in learning, comparing learning sports to learning math, and more.

Barbara Oakley loves to bring fresh perspectives into her books by applying knowledge and experience from many different disciplines, as well as from “real world” experiences. She’s a professor of engineering, has also worked in many different places, and is doing very different things: serving as a Russian translator on Soviet trawlers up in the Bering Sea, teaching in China, going from US Army private to Regular Army Captain, and working as a radio operator at the South Pole Station in the Antarctic.