Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning is an accessible and lively treatment of leading contemporary ideas in learning, training, and education. It emphasizes the importance of effort in real learning and provides recommendations for effective learning techniques.Best for
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Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel, is an accessible and lively treatment of leading contemporary ideas in learning, training, and education. It might be summed up by the idea, If it’s not work, you’re probably not learning. Despite the many efforts by many education-oriented companies to sell products to make learning fun and easy, real learning requires effort.
The general idea is that massed practice (repetition), re-reading texts, and reading notes do little to help the student learn. In place of these activities, the authors recommend such exercises as: frequent but spaced retrieval practices (such as quizzes) with feedback on wrong answers; interleaving of practice, with variation and time for reflection; use of discrimination (this but not that) and induction; peer teaching; simulation; structure building and distilling underlying principles; constructing memory cues and memory devices (like memory palaces). Some general guidance is that “effortful learning changes the brain” (p. 199) and that one should practice like one plays.
The authors liberally illustrate their text with examples and stories, which makes for lively reading. I highly recommend this book to anyone, education specialist and non-specialist alike, for a good summary of contemporary ideas on spaced, varied, interleaved retrieval practices in learning.
This was an assigned book for one of my college courses and usually I don’t do well with forced reading (even though I love reading). Something about being told to read makes the literature lose its lure for me… Anyways this book kept me in its grasp and attentive to all it had to offer. The authors did a fabulous job supporting their claims with research and real scenarios which made it easy to connect with. Not terribly challenging language in my opinion, quick and easy read about the psychology and neurological processes that surround learning.
This book is so great for really starting a new path of learning. It explains why they developed this style of learning and how to implement it. It's not a long book but it's a great book worth reading more than once. If you are looking to enhance your learning experience, then this is for you.
Recommend to all teachers and students
I am currently half way through the audio version of the book. I am listening to it as a graduate student. It is based on scientific research and is not simply a list of intuitive recommendations. Yet I have the following reservations:
1. In many cases, the author narrates very long stories about someone with no clear connection to the topic being discussed.
2. The author seems to be feminizing everything when talking about various careers and jobs, such as: cops, soldiers, teachers, doctors.. etc. He only says 'she'. I don't understand why doesn't he say 'he/she' or simply randomly say he or she.. why only 'she'.
This book change my thinking and understanding of learning. As a physician who learn all the time, using the right techniques and practice can change the consumption of learning material.
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