How We Learn
This book will help you to learn Spanish - or the Spanish guitar - faster.
This book will give an athlete the edge to turn Silver into Gold.
This book will give any child the chance to perform better in exams. Full stop.
How We Learn is a landmark book that shakes up everything we thought we knew about how the brain absorbs and retains information. Filled with powerful - and
Why So Serious
We all “know” we need to be organized, to develop good, consistent study routines, to find a quiet place and avoid distractions, to focus on one skill at a time, and above all, to concentrate on our work.
What’s to question about that?
Carey begins this book with the allegation that most of our instincts about learning are misplaced, incomplete, or flat wrong.
It goes like this:
Want to procrastinate? Good!
Can’t focus? Good!
No fixed schedule? Good!
Can’t study in a fixed place? Good! ...more
The book covers much of the same ground as Make It Stick: the Science of Successful Learning—desirable difficulty, the necessity of forgetting in learning, testing as a learning technique, illusion of knowing, and spaced & varied practice—but the emphasis is more on the practical side of learning and offers some concepts, studies, and insights not found in Make It Stick.
Some of the things I took away from this book and will be applying to my own ...more
+ The enormous benefits of spaced repetition.
+ The benefits of being repeatedly tested (which sometimes greatly outweigh re-studying, even when you're not told the results)
+ The benefits of interleaving different types of material, and the remarkable fact that people believe they're learning less, but are actually learning much more.
+ The fluency illusion, i.e., the sense that people have that they're learning a lot when it's all going ...more
Firstly, this was a struggle at times, probably through the frustration of my own powers of learning/recall. If you’re going to use this book for personal/self-improvement, or you want to use its lessons in your own classroom, then an audible version is immensely confounding – as I wanted to make notes and highlights continuously, and walking to and from work whilst listening didn’t allow me to easily do this! I also hated the attempts of the narrator to mimic the Irish accent or ...more
How we do learn often differs from how we may have been taught to learn. Schoolmarms would be very surprised to find out what actually works. Here are some of the unusual conclusions developed in the book:
1. Forgetting then retrieval makes the memory
2. Recreate same state of mind/study environment -shake it up so that can redo in a variety of circumstances
3. Space out learn over time to remember more
4. “fluency illusion” easy to remember now and also later; to overcome consistently engage in self-testing as you go (ie. recite from memory as part of studying)
5. Pre-testing as study tool - even a wrong guess engages the mind in a more demanding way than ...more
There are a lot of ideas in here about ideal learning conditions, the research that backs them up, and the ways to make the most of one's brain. Fascinating and useful. I wish I'd listened to it before I took my boards exam. There were things I might have structured differently in my study plan.
I especially would like to have this on hand in the event that I'm involved in course design at some point. I think ...more
The author highlights tips we might already know like the importance of self ...more
Our traditional views about memorization, studying, and learning tend to focus on making learning easy: study in the same location, develop a study ritual, reduce distractions, then read, take ...more
The answer: somewhere in the left hemisphere, there is a system in our brains that researcher Michael Gazzaniga calls the "left brain interpreter". The interpreter what what puts together the story of our lives. Oh, and 'story' is truly the right word; the interpreter will make up bullshit to explain what it does not know! ...more
To be honest, I've been looking for a book like this for a while. Not too long ago, I started reading “Thinking Fast and Slow”, but it couldn’t hold my attention long enough for me to finish it. I’ll admit, there were spots in this book that were a bit dry, but overall it was packed full of knowledge that was truly interesting. For instance, I really like how the author included a few brain teasers, as well as some truly bizarre brain experiments (splitting ...more
Benedict Carey is a science reporter, and so he has experience taking complex or incomplete scientific concepts and making them crystal clear to the general public. Since we really still don't know much about how the brain works, that is, how it forms memories and recalls facts for instance, we're stuck with trial and error for the time being. Carey points to many interesting, ...more
"This much is clear: The mixing of items, skills, or concepts during practice, over the longer term, seems to help us not only see the distinctions between them but also to achieve a clearer grasp of each one individually. The hardest...more
What I liked: Benedict Carey does a fantastic job of gathering the data and presenting the results. I learned practical ways that will help me help my children learn as we embark on a homeschooling adventure this fall. The book is readable, interesting, and well written. After reading this I feel like I have concrete real life ways to enhance our learning! Yay!