accelerated learning

Accelerated Learning Paulo Ribeiro

Paulo Ribeiro is a writer for Accelerated Learning (AA), of strategists, and some subjects from the man talk. A few years ago I got to know his work, close to the launch of the book “7 pillars of learning” and since then I've been wanting to read the book. I was hoping the book would be published, but that would be a future project. It turned out that I only read the book now, at the end of 2015. A great book, which with Paulo's permission, I post here the summary I made.

How is knowledge stored?


One of the most accepted theories about memory says that there are three different types of memory, which differ in duration and storage capacity.

1.Sensory memory, used by the senses to situate ourselves in an environment.
2.Short-term memory, where our thoughts are, used to perform work in general.
3.Long-term memory where our knowledge is stored.

So everything we know is stored in long-term memory. The more we know, the easier we learn. This occurs because our brain has more knowledge and interconnects one knowledge to another through synapses. So it's a myth what they say about "children learn better" and adults probably have a lot more connections due to the time lived.

So, how to store content in long-term memory?
The main strategies for this are:
1. group knowledge
2. use of repetition
3. make use of images
4. mnemonics (such as acronyms for example)
5. elaboration, explanation or summary.

types of knowledge

However, to facilitate the storage and search of information, it is good to keep in mind that there are different types of knowledge, and the more knowledge that is worked on at the same time, the better.
1. We have sensory recognition, which is how our mind relates to information (eg, how do we know when to take something out of the oven?).
2. Knowledge of serial ordering, or associations (eg AEIO-_).
3. The knowledge of ideas, union of associations.
4. Schemes, relationship between ideas.
5. Mental models, use of schemas to simulate problems.
6. And, leaving the area of declarative knowledge, we have procedural knowledge, which is knowing how to do things in practice.

What influences learning?


Do not fool yourself. Keep the focus on learning, approval is a consequence.
Aligning values of achievement (by achieving something) intrinsic (by accomplishing something) instrumental (by helping other goals).
Motivation is aligned with effort and our motivation is finite. Value the learning journey, not just your goal. Do not fool yourself. Align your journey goals and values. And if you don't like it, keep going. People usually like something when they're good at it. So practice and soon you will like it. Look at the goal, recognize the difficulty, understand the effort, and believe that it is possible. Look for other people who have already achieved what you want and try to understand their strategies to build a path that suits you. We are in a connected world, don't be afraid. Ask everyone. And don't forget that even the ancient sages, even dead, can help you with the ideas left in their books.

Solid base

It is important to have a solid and well-structured knowledge base. Taking into account everything that is already known to relate to the new content studied, and knowing where to start. For a well-structured base drastically reduces the possibility of errors and regression in the studied content to reformulate a previously deformed concept. Organize your studies. Search, list and level the required knowledge and see if you have what it takes. Otherwise, review and correct deficiencies, and only then start new content.
You can then activate and accelerate learning by asking yourself about it. Why is it true? Why is this unexpected? How does this relate to something I already know? How can I apply this to something I know? Where would this I'm learning be useful in situations I've been/will go through?

Memory has different levels of absorption. Why is it good to know “what I need to learn”?
It is divided into:
1. binary (know / don't know)
2. superficial (heard of)
3.  factual (I can talk about)
4. conceptual (can explain)
5. application (I can solve problems).


Consider the best way to organize content. This way is not necessarily temporal. Experts organize the content in multiple ways, thus being able to select what they need according to the situation.

Tools - Accelerated Learning

Self-taught is the only way to learn. Everything you learn, you learn on your own. And you can only accelerate what you control.


Modify your routine and habits by applying GTD / ZTD and adapting to your reality. Routine forms habit, demanding less from the brain. Identify the routine. What to do? What's the best moment? Experience rewards. Isolate the cue and eliminate possible barriers. Have a plan. Analyze what works and what doesn't in the implemented routines.


The right mindset matters. Understand that: Skills and intelligence are developed. Effort brings results. Mistakes are a source of learning. Learn faster by understanding and utilizing your mistakes.


What to do when you get overwhelmed? Isolate yourself in a quiet place, use different materials, enjoy the journey, divert the focus, reevaluate your strategy and your base knowledge.

The art of studying the right problem

“A well-defined problem is half-solved” John Dewey


What's the best way to solve the problem?


Modify your objective through references and various interviews.


Take into account the Pareto rule, or 80/20, which says that 20% of effort after 80% of result. Organize your study taking into account where you will get the greatest results first. Use the frequency in studies, level of relationship with the result, give priority to more connected / comprehensive modules, and start with the easiest to stay motivated.


In this analysis we are looking for the best way to perform a certain task, so yes, the order matters, and it may be that the best is to start at the end, it will depend on the analysis.



In the case of reading, treat it as a dialogue with the author. See how the book works before you even read it. Understand the author, his context, style, read reviews, and understand what he intends with the book. Then read, analyze, agree or disagree with the author, or even authors. Extract to the last drop. Finally, relate it to your reality and add references and external sources.


Taking notes is important, but instead of just transcribing what you want to absorb passively, let's try active approaches. Compress information, deduce, don't memorize. Make content personal. Make compressed and personalized notes.


active learning

techniques mnemonics 

For memory: group, repeat, create images/stories
personalized personal metaphors
mindmaps to visualize the overall structure

Flip Learning // Flipped Learning // Active Learning Flip

Solidify concepts/principles (books) > problem solving > solved exercises > examples to complete > problem solving (in groups) > problem solving (alone) > deliberate practice (Gelson Oliveira)

Transfer and Connect

Transfer context, seek connections. Combine concrete experience with prior knowledge, compare and contrast possible situations.


What is mastery?

It's mastering the area in order to understand its nuances and have a high level of performance.

the expert's mind

Masters have interconnected thinking, organized in order to make sense and adapt to numerous situations. Generating meaningful patterns, in order to become automated in expertise. It can predict and execute with precision, with its pre-refined schemes with a variety of experiences.

perfect memory


Deliberate Practice

To maintain continued practice and gain mastery use deliberate practice. It is designed to improve performance and demand the intellect. The advance is in the discomfort.
panic zone > learning zone > comfort zone < learning zone < panic zone
Learning zone is stressful, tiring, but manageable.
Feedback needs to be available (closed loop). Solve problems with answers to the study content, otherwise there is no point in putting effort into something you cannot check, you will not have feedback, it would be meaningless.
Spaced repetition and perfect memory. To memorize and review.

How dare!

Apply what you've learned to an outcome of up to 30 days to visualize your goal.

originally published on Leonardo Jahn's blog