Patrik's Reviews > Make It Stick

Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown
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it was amazing
bookshelves: teaching-and-learning

A very convincing and readable book about how to better learn and, as an extension, how to better teach. Two psychologists and (thankfully) one writer present the latest research on learning and, in so doing, refutes some of our most popular learning techniques (such as 'practice, practice, practice' and my favorite 'read and reread'). At the end of the book, the following eight concrete techniques are offered:
1. Retrieving - practice retrieving new (and old) learning (self-quizzing).
2. Spacing - space out your retrieval practice, leave time to forget in between practice sessions.
3. Interleaving - alternate working on different problems facilitates spacing and forgetting (making learning more difficult, which improves learning).
4. Elaboration - try to find additional layers of meaning in the new material.
5. Generation - attempt to answer a question or solve a problem before looking at the answer (experiential learning).
6. Reflection - a combination of retrieval practice and elaboration that adds layers to learning new material. Ask your self questions.
7. Calibration - to avoid various cognitive illusions, use an objective instrument to adjust your sense of what you know and don't know.
8. Mnemonic devices - build memory palaces to help yourself retrieve what you have learned.

I will aim to incorporate several of these ideas into my courses - mainly through (1) generation, (2) elaboration, and (3) retrieval practice through frequent, predictable, low-stakes "testing" (including interleaving). I will not be promoting mnemonic devices...
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 12, 2014 – Shelved
May 12, 2014 – Finished Reading
September 1, 2014 – Shelved as: teaching-and-learning

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Dee (new) - added it

Dee Thanks for writing this. Why won't you be promoting mnemonic devices?

Patrik I do think mnemonic devices can be helpful for the students, but I will not structure my courses around them. Thus I will not promote them as part of my courses.

message 3: by Dee (new) - added it

Dee Ah. Cool.

Carlos Pérez I just found this book. Hope it helps me to study in a more efficient way (started studying Psychology at the uni), as I also work 40hrs/week.

Simonkim very good review and summary!! Thanks ^^

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