Front Page Titles (by Subject) Freedom and Learning - Literature of Liberty, April/June 1978, vol. 1, No. 2
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Freedom and Learning - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, April/June 1978, vol. 1, No. 2 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Freedom and Learning
“The New 'Brain' Concept of Learning.” Phi Delta Kappan 59 (February 1978): 393–396.
Education that aims at preparing autonomous persons to live in a free society needs to heed recent discoveries about the brain's natural methods of functioning. Current educational practices, however, are largely antagonistic to the brain's nature.
Just as a finger bends forward but not backward, the brain has certain ways in which it works and other ways in which it will not work. Among the brain's characteristics highlighted in the recent studies are:
These findings have important implications for educational practice and for socialization in autonomy and freedom.
Educational methods grew up and became entrenched long before this information was available. In large part pedagogy goes against the grain of the brain's nature. For instance, the brain learns by successfully executing an action. What is required is that materials and teachers be available to provide guidance in learning actions. What is not required is a system mainly comprised of talking at, testing, failing, and moving along. Because the brain is a pattern-detecting device of incredible capability and subtlety, it needs vast amounts of input to provide the raw material from which it can discover the relevant patterns. The typical school offers little in the way of input.
Finally, brain research clarifies how to foster independent individuals. People cannot learn the skills or attitudes they need to survive and prosper in a free society exclusively through a conceptual approach. They must have a base of relevant experiences from which they can derive a conceptual understanding. They must have the experience of living and functioning in a free society.