This MIT Graduate Has A Theory On How You Learn Best

Famed psychologist B. F. Skinner might be best remembered as a behaviorist, believing that all of our choices come from base-level biological instincts and conditioning. Skinner also advocated for classroom reforms, in his ‘Theories of Classroom Management,” believing the best way to get better results from pupils was to modify the environment – in this case, the classroom.

Skinner’s ‘Theories Of Classroom Management,” sound surprisingly progressive and prescient, with a number of his proposed educational amendments being adopted in more forward-thinking learning institutions, currently. Even a psychologist who believed all living things are essentially thinking robots found old-fashioned learning methods outdated and ineffectual.

In a bid to better understand learning and classroom settings, MIT researcher Yuchun Lee set out to decipher what is so wrong with most classroom settings, via observations and research were undertaken from a surprising source – playing Blackjack.

Human beings don’t do well sitting in a classroom, getting crammed with 20 hours of information. They learn if you give them bite-size chunks of knowledge and repeat them over time, or if you embed the skills they need to learn in a game and they compete against one another,” he told’s Zachary Lipez in an interview.

While Skinner’s research is often employed to make people do something they don’t want to do, Lee’s Blackjack-indebted research suggests more humane usages, that might help to eradicate some of the classroom biases that disadvantage certain students. Lee’s research led him to found Allego, an online training company currently ranking at #62 of the Fortune 500. It seems that risk, danger, excitement, and high stakes are even more effective in helping us to learn than cram sessions and stressing.