What is worth learning ?

What is worth learning ?
There is a very popular quote from Alvin Toffler that the illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and re-learn. But the follow up question would be learn and re-learn what? And what to unlearn?What is it that is really worth learning? When are we consuming ‘junk learning’ just as we often eat junk food instead of wholesome healthy nutritious food?
A fundamental change in contemporary democratic societies is a movement from education for a chosen few to education for all. And from education for a few years at School. College and University to lifelong learning. This shift is reflected in policy directives such as the SDG Goal 4, the NEP 2020 and the deliberations of the G20 education working group.
When Michael Faraday in the 1850s, demonstrated the generation of electricity in a wire by moving a magnet near it, he was asked by the then British Chancellor of the Exchequer William Gladstone ‘ what is the use of this?’. The reply was “One day, sir, you may tax it.” Had Michael Faraday been able to see far enough, he would have perhaps said “ One day Sir, you may win an election by giving it away for free”.
Alex Flexner, the founding Director of the Institute ofAdvanced studies at Princeton, has espoused the cause of seeking knowledge for its own sake in a beautiful essay, also as a short book with the title ‘ The usefulness of useless knowledge’. Here is a link to a video about it: https://lnkd.in/ddFfFtGw
Amitabh Bachchan in this video explains in Hindi the advice by Benjamin Franklin in his book ‘ The Way to Wealth’ that ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest’: https://lnkd.in/dVh-RudZ
I have created a weeklong course on this theme of ‘ what is worth learning ?’ Delivered through WhatsApp, the flow of topics is as follows:
Day 1: The value of knowledge
1.1: An investment in education pays the best interest
1.2: Importance of Knowledge in the Indian tradition
1.3: The knowledge capital of Nations
1.4: Quotations about value of knowledge
1.5: The Harvard Classics
Day 2: Insights from NeuroScience
2.1: About the Brain
2.2: Myths about the brain and learning
2.3: Exercise and the brain
2.4: Developing mental agility
2.5: Unanswered Questions
Day 3: Active Learning
3.1: Carl Weimar and active learning
3.2: The joy of finding things out
3.3: Self-directed learning
3.4: Flipped learning
3.5: Learning with chatGPT
Day 4: Mental models
4.1: Aristotle/ Socrates
4.2: Open versus closed mindsets
4.3: First Principles
4.4: Razors for better thinking
4.5: Empathy
Day 5: Resources for the Science of Learning
5.1: Books
5.2: Articles
5.3: Videos
5.4: TED and TEDx talks
5.5: MOOCs and other courses

Enrolment and fee payment: 

As the course is delivered through WhatsApp, the enrolment process is simply that of sending a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724

The fee for the above course is Rs 2500/- and can be easily remitted through PayTM to MM Pant ( mobile number : +919810073724).

  • For those who would rather pay into a Bank account,the relevant information is :  Madan Mohan Pant
  • HDFC Bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Sector 39, Gurgaon 
  •     A/c 26451000000301

      HDFC0002645

  • (The account number is 26451 followed by six zeroes followed by 301)


The first edition of this course will run from Monday 11th September to Friday 15th September 2023. And thereafter during the 2nd week of every month. To know more, please send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810074724