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Summary: Combating Mindlessness With Mindfulness

Powerful Essays
Combating Mindlessness with Mindfulness
Ellen Langer writes that overlearning and memorization lead to mindlessness, which may prevent the discovery of new ideas (1997). Langer and Piper define mindlessness as using information strictly as defined while unaware of its other potential uses (1987). Rote memory may allow a student to remember a large amount of information, but memorization alone is almost completely useless without context, and is highly inefficient in long-term retention (Langer, 1997). As shown in Langer and Piper’s experiments, an object that is defined in an absolute manner is unlikely to be used conditionally in a later situation that calls for a creative use of the object (1987). We have also been taught that it is best
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Most information is taught unconditionally for the sake of stability, function and communication within society. But, unconditional teaching and learning results in the mindless use of the material learned. Also, the stability sought by society in unconditional teaching is unrealistic as the ideas and objects to which we apply our knowledge are indefinitely changing. Conditional teaching, on the other hand, allows for mindful learning (Langer & Piper, 1987). I have learned that mindfulness is a powerful tool that can be used both in education and in everyday situations. I have recently begun to implement mindfulness and mindful learning in my life. As an experiment, I decided to set aside one day for mindfulness and document my experiences. Most of my trials involved everyday tasks, but I also directly applied mindful learning to my…show more content…
Personally, reading about mindfulness and applying it to my life has benefitted me in more than one way. Mindfulness as applied to everyday activities has helped me enjoy all the tasks throughout the day that I usually perform mindlessly. Mindfulness has helped me to relax in stressful moments by clearing my mind of unnecessary thoughts and viewing the situation from a different perspective. While I am intentionally being mindful of what I am doing, I feel more present in that moment and more prepared to respond accordingly to whatever may happen next. I believe mindful eating will be very beneficial to me in the future by allowing me to better control my cravings and to mindfully eat healthier foods. This could lead to countless health benefits. I have also discovered the benefits of distancing myself from technology. My cell phone has been a huge distraction in the past few years. It seems impossible to be mindful while my cell phone is in my hand or even in my pocket, as I have almost constant urges to check it for various updates. Mindfulness is an excellent tool for combating cell phone
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