Make It Stick - The Science of Successful Learning


How much do I want to read more? 8/10

Wow that's a bood book about learning.
It reminds me of "A mind for numbers" and might be complementary to this one.


Memory is the mother of all wisdom.

-- Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

Preface

People generally are going about learn- ing in the wrong ways. how to learn turns out to be largely wasted effort.
There’s a catch: the most effective learning strategies are not intuitive.

spaced repetition of key ideas, and the interleaving of different but related topics.
returning to it periodically over time, they remember it better.

Similarly, if they interleave the study of different topics, they learn each better than if they had studied them one at a time in sequence.

1- Learning Is Misunderstood

about learning: we mean acquiring knowledge and skills and having them readily available from memory so you can make sense of future problems and opportunities.
First, learning requires memory,
Second, to keep learning and remembering all our lives.
Third, learning is an acquired skill, the most effective strategies are often counterintuitive.

Claims We Make in This Book

Learning is deeper and more durable when it’s effortful. Learning that’s easy is like writing in sand, here today and gone tomorrow.
We are poor judges of when we are learning well and when we’re not.

Rereading text and massed practice are by far the preferred study strategies of learners of all stripes, but they’re also among the least productive.
By massed practice we mean the single-minded, rapid-fire repetition of something you’re trying to burn into memory.
Cramming for ex- ams is an example. Rereading and massed practice give rise to feelings of fluency that are taken to be signs of mastery, but for true mastery or durability these strategies are largely a waste of time.

Retrieval practice—recalling facts or concepts or events from memory—is a more effective learning strategy than re- view by rereading.
Flashcards are a simple example. Retrieval strengthens the memory and interrupts forgetting.
A single, simple quiz after reading a text or hearing a lecture produces better learning and remembering than rereading the text or reviewing lecture notes.

the neural pathways that make up a body of learning do get stronger, when the memory is retrieved and the learning is practiced.
Periodic practice ar- rests forgetting, strengthens retrieval routes, and is essential for hanging onto the knowledge you want to gain.
When you space out practice at a task and get a little rusty between sessions, or you interleave the practice of two or more subjects, retrieval is harder and feels less productive, but the effort produces longer lasting learning and enables more versatile application of it in later settings.

Trying to solve a problem before being taught the solution leads to better learning, even when errors are made in the attempt.

We’re all susceptible to illusions that can hijack our judg- ment of what we know and can do.
Testing helps calibrate our judgments of what we’ve learned.
you build better mastery when you use testing as a tool to identify and bring up your areas of weakness.

All new learning requires a foundation of prior knowledge.

If you’re just engaging in mechanical repetition, it’s true, you quickly hit the limit of what you can keep in mind.
However, if you practice elaboration, there’s no known limit to how much you can learn.
Elaboration is the process of giving new material meaning by expressing it in your own words and connecting it with what you already know.
The more you can explain about the way your new learning relates to your prior knowledge, the stronger your grasp of the new learning will be, and the more connections you create that will help you remember it later.