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Is it possible to learn from books?

  1. Mar 6, 2008 #1
    I've come to notice, that when it comes to learning new things (I'm talking about mathematics and physics), either of the following two things happen with books:

    1. I try to learn from the book, and get frustrated, because I don't understand it.

    2. I learn the things somewhere else, for example on some course by going to exercise sessions, and after learning it, I read the book and happily see that things that I already know are being mentioned there.

    *snif* :frown:
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2008 #2
    yes but it's more difficult to learn from any medium where you have no feedback, thus physics forums. Thus lecturers, thus education.

    I have spent the last 3 years learning from books, and I can honestly say without some sort of feedback both from people I worked with and this forum, it would have been much harder to learn the material, particularly because I'd had a gap between when I dropped out of college( pre University education, UK) and when I started to study again, so I was essentially coming in with a real deficit.

    Books are a very good learning tool, but they really are better with continuous feed back. I had a tutor I could ask questions of, but this was limited by being remote from the person in question.
  4. Mar 6, 2008 #3


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    I can learn from books only when I do all exercises.
  5. Mar 6, 2008 #4
    That's practically all I do. I expect the professor to elaborate or help out, but I spend most of my studying time in front of my book, going over examples, etc.
  6. Mar 7, 2008 #5
    Book learning is definitely hard. It will generally take you several reads to fully understand something, assuming the text provides you with enough information. Just keep at it: I find if I stare at something long enough it starts to magically make sense.
  7. Mar 7, 2008 #6
    It is absolutely impossible for anyone to ever learn anything from a book. Anybody who tells you they have is lying.
  8. Mar 7, 2008 #7
    Some books have minor or even major mistakes... It is better to use internet, ^__^.. Well, sometimes, books are hard to understand because the author made the topic more broad. haha
  9. Mar 7, 2008 #8


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    A book has to be reviewed and edited before being published, the internet does not.

    One can learn from a book but understanding what you're reading is in the doing. I find it useful to have some scrap paper when I'm reading so any point in the text where it says x was derived from y and z, I like to do on the scrap paper. I also like to do all the exercises if possible and I have folders full of completed exercises from text books. Just these small things make a huge difference. You don't really learn much from reading alone.
  10. Mar 7, 2008 #9
    Well, yes, true. But I'm telling the truth. Some of my books have minor mistakes... sometimes, major..
  11. Mar 7, 2008 #10


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    I wasn't denying they didn't have mistakes. I have spotted many in my time and along with the completed exercises the folders contain lists of errors in the texts. I was just pointing out that if books undergo these rigorous checks and still have mistakes then imagine what kind of mistakes the unregulated internet has.
  12. Mar 7, 2008 #11
    Well, it depends who made the book, ... It's ok if you wont believe me. Since you're not from Philippines, I guess you haven't heard about a book which contains major mistakes and lots of parents and teachers are complaining.
  13. Mar 7, 2008 #12


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    I find this an amazing statement :bugeye:
  14. Mar 7, 2008 #13
    Interesting. I have another take.

    When learning things, a person has to have the place-holders in their mind, and let the brain, manage the space. No expectations, mean the prepared set, will be the same as before, and as space becomes limited, confusion steps in as data is excluded. Expect to double your work or stay at home.

    The need to keep track of more variables at one time, grows with the increase in knowledge due to higher and higher education. Piaget notes the way children's brains expand at certain growth stages and how the knowledge retains itz character. For our purposes, we have to manage a few things, the primary aspect, being the capacity to accomodate the information, as mentioned, and thereafter, the ability to lay out the information, in a way that permits the brain to communicate a conscious understanding.

    How books are laid out, the seperation of information, data, how terms are introduced, what foundations are taken for granted, and ways to convert the information within the book to knowledge, play a large part in learning by reading.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2008
  15. Mar 7, 2008 #14
    Yes, since i'm also from the Philippines. The book you're talking about is "Asya". Lots of parents are complaining indeed.

    But not all books have "mistakes".
  16. Mar 7, 2008 #15
    plug in both ends of the USB cable into your head and USB port in text and press download.
  17. Mar 7, 2008 #16
    hehe.. hope it will work.
  18. Mar 7, 2008 #17
    How domains are laid out, the seperation of information, data, how terms are introduced, what foundations are taken for granted, and ways to convert the information within the domain to knowledge, play a large part in learning by downloading.
  19. Mar 7, 2008 #18
    Asya? a famous book in Philippines
  20. Mar 7, 2008 #19
    Perhaps I'm just paranoid, but to me it appeared to be saying, that my original question was stupid :biggrin:
  21. Mar 8, 2008 #20
    yes. high school students are using that book...
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