xTalk: Sanjay Sarma & Luke Yoquinto on "Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn"

Wednesday, October 07, 2020 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Virtual Event

In his new book, Grasp, Sanjay Sarma, MIT professor and VP for Open Learning, makes the argument for an educational system which revolutionizes the concept of student potential and explores the best methods to activate it.

Tracing the history of pedagogy from a neuro-cognitive perspective, Sarma and his co-author Luke Yoquinto summarize past practices and offer a vision for a different future. In the process, they ask important questions about the efficacy of exams, the notion that a student has innate ability (as opposed to fluid, plastic, and malleable) and how the science of learning presents new scholarship on how learners understand, absorb, and utilize information and skills. Affirming that empowered, engaged, and educated individuals are the goal of an enlightened society, Sarma and Yoquinto argue for a more accessible, flexible and engaging learning ecosystem. They envision a classroom where theory is immediately put to use, and where mastery learning is valued over grades and exam results.

In this xTalk, Prof. Sarma and Yoquinto will discuss the book and perspectives on new ways to envision and implement education, both online and in-person.

To most effectively participate in discussion and Q&A, you are invited to read the following book excerpt and watch this short introductory video by Prof Sarma.


Prof Sanjay Sarma is the Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and Vice President for Open Learning at MIT. Author of more than 200 academic papers in computational geometry, sensing, RFID, automation, CAD, learning engineering, the science of learning and education reform, Sarma is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research, including the MacVicar Fellowship, Business Week’s eBiz Award, and InformationWeek's Innovators and Influencers Award. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, his master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He serves on the boards and advisory boards of several private, public and non-profit companies including edX.

Luke Yoquinto is a science writer who covers learning and education, as well as aging and demographic change in his role as a research associate at the MIT AgeLab. His work can be found in such publications as The Washington Post, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic. He is a graduate of Boston University's science journalism program.

About xTalks:

Sponsored by the Office of Open Learning, xTalks is a forum to facilitate awareness, deep understanding and transference of educational innovations at MIT and elsewhere.

Watch past xTalks.

Join us on Zoom: https://mit.zoom.us/j/96248784413 

Event Type

Conferences/Seminars/Lectures, Community Event

Events By Interest

Academic, Career Development, General

Events By Audience



education, science, teaching, Online Learning, learning, Brain Science



MIT Open Learning
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