Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How We Learn

I've read more recreational non-fiction in the past year than I have in my entire life.  I remember hearing "non-fiction" as a kid and running for the hills.  Unfortunately, my feelings about non-fiction were misleading. I've picked up a few things this year that I have ended up really enjoying.  Here's the latest...

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey.  This was another one I just happened to find on the "New" shelf at the library.  Now, I think I'm going to have to go buy a copy of my own!

Don't let the first chapter scare you.  It's a lot of brain science, but it's a basic foundation for the rest of the book.  You may not think you can read about research studies, but Carey is great at making them not only clear, but entertaining.  Besides, the "surprising truth" is really...surprising!  So, if you have any of the following beliefs, you need to read this book:

  1. Forgetting is failure
  2. Studying alone in a quiet room is the best way to study
  3. Studying the same thing everyday is the best way to retain information
  4. Highlighting, writing notes, and reviewing them is a great way to master a subject
  5. Pre-tests are a waste of time
  6. You should feel guilty if you get distracted while working on a project
  7. Facebook and Netflix are harmful to learning
  8. Interruptions must be eliminated for successful learning
  9. Repeated, focused practice is the best way to master a skill
  10. Your brain rests while you sleep
If you're looking for a fascinating read, pick this one up.  You won't be disappointed.  Plus, it's applicable for anyone--student, teacher, or mother of three!

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