How We Learn

How We Learn

The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
2
Rate this:
In the tradition of The Power of Habit and Thinking, Fast and Slow comes a practical, playful, and endlessly fascinating guide to what we really know about learning and memory today--and how we can apply it to our own lives.

From an early age, it is drilled into our heads: Restlessness, distraction, and ignorance are the enemies of success. We're told that learning is all self-discipline, that we must confine ourselves to designated study areas, turn off the music, and maintain a strict ritual if we want to ace that test, memorize that presentation, or nail that piano recital.

But what if almost everything we were told about learning is wrong? And what if there was a way to achieve more with less effort?

In How We Learn, award-winning science reporter Benedict Carey sifts through decades of education research and landmark studies to uncover the truth about how our brains absorb and retain information. What he discovers is that, from the moment we are born, we are all learning quickly, efficiently, and automatically; but in our zeal to systematize the process we have ignored valuable, naturally enjoyable learning tools like forgetting, sleeping, and daydreaming. Is a dedicated desk in a quiet room really the best way to study? Can altering your routine improve your recall? Are there times when distraction is good? Is repetition necessary? Carey's search for answers to these questions yields a wealth of strategies that make learning more a part of our everyday lives--and less of a chore.

By road testing many of the counterintuitive techniques described in this book, Carey shows how we can flex the neural muscles that make deep learning possible. Along the way he reveals why teachers should give final exams on the first day of class, why it's wise to interleave subjects and concepts when learning any new skill, and when it's smarter to stay up late prepping for that presentation than to rise early for one last cram session. And if this requires some suspension of disbelief, that's because the research defies what we've been told, throughout our lives, about how best to learn.

The brain is not like a muscle, at least not in any straightforward sense. It is something else altogether, sensitive to mood, to timing, to circadian rhythms, as well as to location and environment. It doesn't take orders well, to put it mildly. If the brain is a learning machine, then it is an eccentric one. In How We Learn, Benedict Carey shows us how to exploit its quirks to our advantage.

Praise for How We Learn

"This book is a revelation. I feel as if I've owned a brain for fifty-four years and only now discovered the operating manual." --Mary Roach, bestselling author of Stiff and Gulp

"A welcome rejoinder to the faddish notion that learning is all about the hours put in." --The New York Times Book Review

"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

"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
Published: New York :, Random House,, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780812993882
0812993888
Branch Call Number: 153.15 CAR
Characteristics: xvi, 254 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

a
augsburgerin
Jun 23, 2016

A refreshing look at learning strategies that are supposed to make learning more efficient and less of a chore. I will definitely give some of these techniques a try and it felt good to get confirmation on some learning techniques that have always felt instinctively right or wrong.

s
StarGladiator
Dec 08, 2014

This isn't a bad book, but not a great one, it is an OK book. If you were doing a field survey, I would suggest including this one. For a great, awesome and fantastic book on this subject, Prof. Barbara Oakley's book, A Mind For Numbers is the one to read!

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number Find Series Titles and Similar Books With Novelist

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at DBRL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top