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How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens Paperback – June 9, 2015
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“How We Learn makes for a welcome rejoinder to the faddish notion that learning is all about the hours put in. Learners, [Benedict] Carey reminds us, are not automatons.”—The New York Times Book Review
“The insights of How We Learn apply to far more than just academic situations. Anyone looking to learn a musical instrument would benefit from understanding what frequency and type of practice is most effective. Even readers with little practical use for Carey’s information will likely find much of it fascinating, such as how intuition can be a teachable skill, or that giving practice exams at the very beginning of a semester improves grades. How We Learn is a valuable, entertaining tool for educators, students and parents.”—Shelf Awareness
“How We Learn is more than a new approach to learning; it is a guide to making the most out of life. Who wouldn’t be interested in that?”—Scientific American
“Whether you struggle to remember a client’s name, aspire to learn a new language, or are a student battling to prepare for the next test, this book is a must. I know of no other source that pulls together so much of what we know about the science of memory and couples it with practical, practicable advice.”—Daniel T. Willingham, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and author of Raising Readers in an Age of Distraction
“How We Learn is as fun to read as it is important, and as much about how to live as it is about how to learn. Benedict Carey’s skills as a writer, plus his willingness to mine his own history as a student, give the book a wonderful narrative quality that makes it all the more accessible—and all the more effective as a tutorial.”—Robert A. Bjork, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
“Fact #1: Your brain is a powerful and eccentric machine, capable of performing astonishing feats of memory and skill. Fact #2: Benedict Carey has written a book that will inspire and equip you to use your brain in a more effective way. Fact #3: You should use your brain—right now—to buy this book for yourself and for anyone who wants to learn faster and better.”—Daniel Coyle, bestselling author of The Talent Code
About the Author
- Publisher : Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 9, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0812984293
- ISBN-13 : 978-0812984293
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.47 x 0.59 x 8.18 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #22,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I do now use this to inform my practice, and I have found those (high school) students who trust me to try the techniques perform better across all their courses. I have encouraged my students to read the book and to review the research that went into it to see what else they can determine about methods that may work well for them.
~ Benedict Carey from How We Learn
Benedict Carey is a science writer for The New York Times.
This book is his exploration of what the latest research says about, you guessed it, How We Learn.
I read it as part of my preparation for Learning 101. Check out our Notes on Make It Stick (written by a story teller + two leading cognitive scientists focused on the science of learning) and A Mind for Numbers (written by a math teacher who taught one of the most popular classes in history) for more learning goodness.
I’m excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas:
1. Distributed Learning - Think: Watering your lawn.
2. Enemy #1 for Learning - =Fluency illusion.
3. Can You Teach It? - Powerful way to learn.
4. Mix It Up - To strengthen the learning.
5. Sleep + Naps - = Learning with your eyes closed.
Here’s to optimizing how we learn as we actualize our potential!
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.
Top reviews from other countries
+ Extensive background introduction on the basics
+ Easy to read, plain English
+ It goes through a lot of topics regarding the learning process
- If you have a basic understanding of how cognitive processes work, you may find some chapters repetitive and tedious
- A lot of the analysis is based on very old studies that have little ecological validity
- The author also relies excessively on anecdotes and personal experiences to explain observations
- If you are reading to optimise your own learning or get an insight on the subject, this book will not be very helpful
- The value of habits is dismissed by the author, however a practice routine has been shown to be extremely effective on almost every context of human improvement (this is presented in many other books)
The only thing stopping me giving it five stars is that it would have been good to have a summary of the key points/learnings. There is a lot of information in the book and a careful summary would have brought everything together nicely. I think the follow-up to this work has to be the practical applications of the techniques. To be fair the author has given examples but,as an individual, you will be left wondering how this all applies to you.