Helping Students Learn How to Learn

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what we know about how people learn. As a long-time reader and now contributor to this blog, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that I believe active learning is one piece of the puzzle. But, as a good social scientist, I’m always looking for evidence. I’m happy to see books using cognitive psychology and neuroscience and related fields to give us more insight into how students learn.

A friend recently shared this article and I’m excited to pick up the book Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning and read it this summer.

The article includes a handy graphic that I plan to share with my students this fall, listing five facts to teach them how to learn. Of the five facts, the second (“Apply the new material to your own life”) and fourth (“Use your whole brain”) most closely relate to why I incorporate active learning into my teaching. I hope, that by sharing this research, I’ll purchase some “buy-in” from the students for these methods.

One thought on “Helping Students Learn How to Learn

  1. Add me to the list of people thinking about these issues. Just as physicians help their patients keep their body in peak health and coaches help their players maximize their athletic potential, it seems to me vitally important that we help our students understand and reach for the conditions that lead to optimal learning.

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