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Make It Stick

Make It Stick

Peter C. Brown
Henry L. Roediger
Mark A. McDaniel
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Harvard University Press
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  • Book Info
    Make It Stick
    Book Description:

    Drawing on cognitive psychology and other fields, Make It Stick offers techniques for becoming more productive learners, and cautions against study habits and practice routines that turn out to be counterproductive. The book speaks to students, teachers, trainers, athletes, and all those interested in lifelong learning and self-improvement.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-41937-7
    Subjects: Psychology, Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. 1 Learning Is Misunderstood
    (pp. 1-22)

    EARLY IN HIS CAREER as a pilot, Matt Brown was flying a twin-engine Cessna northeast out of Harlingen, Texas, when he noticed a drop in oil pressure in his right engine. He was alone, flying through the night at eleven thousand feet, making a hotshot freight run to a plant in Kentucky that had shut down its manufacturing line awaiting product parts for assembly.

    He reduced altitude and kept an eye on the oil gauge, hoping to fly as far as a planned fuel stop in Louisiana, where he could service the plane, but the pressure kept falling. Matt has...

  5. 2 To Learn, Retrieve
    (pp. 23-45)

    MIKE EBERSOLD GOT CALLED into a hospital emergency room one afternoon late in 2011 to examine a Wisconsin deer hunter who’d been found lying unconscious in a cornfield. The man had blood at the back of his head, and the men who’d found and brought him in supposed he’d maybe stumbled and cracked his skull on something.

    Ebersold is a neurosurgeon. The injury had brain protruding, and he recognized it as a gunshot wound. The hunter regained consciousness in the ER, but when asked how he’d hurt himself, he had no idea.

    Recounting the incident later, Ebersold said, “Somebody from...

  6. 3 Mix Up Your Practice
    (pp. 46-66)

    IT MAY NOT BE INTUITIVE that retrieval practice is a more powerful learning strategy than repeated review and rereading, yet most of us take for granted the importance of testing in sports. It’s what we call “practice-practice-practice.” Well, here’s a study that may surprise you.

    A group of eight-year-olds practiced tossing beanbags into buckets in gym class. Half of the kids tossed into a bucket three feet away. The other half mixed it up by tossing into buckets two feet and four feet away. After twelve weeks of this they were all tested on tossing into a three-foot bucket. The...

  7. 4 Embrace Difficulties
    (pp. 67-101)

    WHEN MIA BLUNDETTO, age twenty-three, first lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, was billeted to logistics in Okinawa, she had to get her ticket punched at jump school. Describing that moment two years later, she said, “I hate falling, that feeling in your chest. There’s not a day in my life I wanted to jump out of an airplane. I wouldn’t even go down a water slide until I was in middle school. But I was in charge of a platoon of Marines who rigged parachutes and jumped out of airplanes and dropped cargo. It’s one of the most sought-out billets as...

  8. 5 Avoid Illusions of Knowing
    (pp. 102-130)

    AT THE ROOT of our effectiveness is our ability to grasp the world around us and to take the measure of our own performance. We’re constantly making judgments about what we know and don’t know and whether we’re capable of handling a task or solving a problem. As we work at something, we keep an eye on ourselves, adjusting our thinking or actions as we progress.

    Monitoring your own thinking is what psychologists call metacognition (metais Greek for “about”). Learning to be accurate self-observers helps us to stay out of blind alleys, make good decisions, and reflect on how...

  9. 6 Get Beyond Learning Styles
    (pp. 131-161)

    ALL LEARNERS ARE DIFFERENT, and all rising to a great place, as Francis Bacon tells us, is by a winding stair.¹

    Consider the story of Bruce Hendry, born in 1942, raised on the banks of the Mississippi north of Minneapolis by a machinist and a homemaker, just another American kid with skinned knees and fire in the belly to get rich. When we talk about self-made men, the story often sounds familiar. This is not that story. Bruce Hendry is self-made, but the story is in the winding stair, how he found his way, and what it helps us understand...

  10. 7 Increase Your Abilities
    (pp. 162-199)

    IN A FAMOUS study from the 1970s, a researcher showed nursery school children one at a time into a room with no distractions except for a marshmallow resting on a tray on a desk. As the researcher left the room, the child was told he could eat the marshmallow now, or, if he waited for fifteen minutes, he would be rewarded with a second marshmallow.

    Walter Mischel and his graduate students observed through a mirror as the children faced their dilemma. Some popped the marshmallow into their mouths the moment the researcher left, but others were able to wait. To...

  11. 8 Make It Stick
    (pp. 200-254)

    NO MATTER WHAT YOU MAY set your sights on doing or becoming, if you want to be a contender, it’s mastering the ability to learn that will get you in the game and keep you there.

    In the preceding chapters, we resisted the temptation to become overtly prescriptive, feeling that if we laid out the big ideas from the empirical research and illustrated them well through examples, you could reach your own conclusions about how best to apply them. But early readers of those chapters urged us to get specific with practical advice. So we do that here.

    We start...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 257-284)
  13. Suggested Reading
    (pp. 285-288)
  14. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 289-294)
  15. Index
    (pp. 295-313)