To most of us, learning something “the hard way” implies
wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively
tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies
that make learning easier. Make It Stick
turns fashionable ideas like these on their head. Drawing on recent discoveries
in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer concrete
techniques for becoming more productive learners.
Memory plays a central role in our ability to carry out
complex cognitive tasks, such as applying knowledge to problems never before
encountered and drawing inferences from facts already known. New insights into
how memory is encoded, consolidated, and later retrieved have led to a better
understanding of how we learn. Grappling with the impediments that make
learning challenging leads both to more complex mastery and better retention of
what was learned.
Many common study habits and practice routines turn out to
be counterproductive. Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and
single-minded repetition of new skills create the illusion of mastery, but
gains fade quickly. More complex and durable learning come from self-testing,
introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting to re-study new material
until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the practice of one
skill or topic with another. Speaking most urgently to students, teachers,
trainers, and athletes, Make It Stick
will appeal to all those interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and
self-improvement. Download and start listening now!