Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

“If learners spread out their study of a topic, 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.”
“Periodic practice arrests forgetting, strengthens retrieval routes, and is essential for hanging onto the knowledge you want to gain.”
“Elaboration is the process of giving new material meaning by expressing it in your own words and connecting it with what you already know.”
“People who learn to extract the key ideas from new material and organize them into a mental model and connect that model to prior knowledge show an advantage in learning complex mastery.”
“Many people believe that their intellectual ability is hardwired from birth, and that failure to meet a learning challenge i an indictment of their native ability. But every time you learn something new, you change the brain - the residue of your experiences is stored.”
“Practice at retrieving new knowledge or skill from memory is a potent tool for learning and durable retention.”
“Reflection is a form of retrieval practice (What happened? What did I do? How did it work out?), enhanced with elaboration (What would I do differently next time?)”
“Into this void Robert Sternberg has introduced his three-part theory of successful intelligence. Analytical intelligence is our ability to complete problem-solving tasks such as those typically contained in tests; creative intelligence is our ability to synthesize and apply existing knowledge and skills to deal with new and unusual situations; practice intelligence is our ability to adapt to everyday life- to understand what needs to be done in a specific setting and then do it; what we call street smarts. Different cultures and learning situations draw on these intelligences differently, and much of what’s required to succeed in a particular situation is not measured by standard IQ or aptitude tests, which can miss critical competencies.”
“The marshmallow study is sublime in its simplicity and as a metaphor for life. We are born with the gift of our genes, but to a surprising degree our success is also determined by focus and self discipline, which are the offspring of motivation and one’s sense of personal empowerment.”
“A kid who’s born on third base and grows up thinking she hit a triple is unlikely to embrace the challenges that will enable her to discover her full potential. A focus on looking smart keeps a person from taking risks in life, the small ones that help people rise toward their aspirations, as well as the bold, visionary moves that lead to greatness. Failure, as Carol Dweck tells us, gives you useful information, and the opportunity to discover what you’re capable of doing when you really set your mind to it.”
“The takeaway from Dweck, Thought, and their colleagues working in this field is that more than IQ, it’s discipline, grit, and a growth mindset that imbue a person with the sense of possibility and the creativity and persistence needed for higher learning and success.”
“What we do shapes who we become and what we’re capable of doing. The more we do, the more we can do. To embrace this principle and reap its benefits is to be sustained through life by a growth mindset.”
“What is it? Elaboration is the process of finding additional layers of meaning in new material. For Instance: Examples include relating the material to what you already know, explaining it to somebody else in your own words, or explaining how it relates to your life outside of class.”
“Generation has the effect of making the mind more receptive to new learning. What is it? Generation is an attempt to answer a questions or solve a problem before being show the answer or the solution.”
“Reflection is a combination of retrieval practice and elaboration that adds layers to learning and strengthens skills. What is it? Reflection is the act of taking a few minutes to review what has been learned in a recent class or experience and asking yourself questions. What went well? What could have gone better? What other knowledge or experiences does it remind you of? What might you need to learn for better mastery, or what strategies might you use next time to get better results?”
“Calibration is the act of aligning your judgements of what you know and don’t know with the objective feedback so as to avoid being carried off by the illusions of mastery that catch many learners by surprise at test time. What is it? Everyone is subject to a host of cognitive illusions, some of which are described in Chapter 5. Mistaking fluency with a test for mastery of the underlying content is just one example. Calibration is simply the act of using an objective instrument to clear away illusions and adjust your judgement to better reflect reality. The aim is to be sure that your sense of what you know and can do is accurate.”
“Make sense of something new, the mind begins to “knit” at the problem on its own. You don’t engage the mind by reading a text over and over again or by passively watching PowerPoint slides. You engage it by making the effort to explain the material yourself, in your own words - connecting the facts, making it vivid, relating it to what you already know. Learning, like writing, is an act of engagement.”
“When learning is easy it is often superficial and soon forgotten. - Not all of our intellectual abilities are hardwired. In fact, when learning is effortful, it changes the brain, making new connections and increasing intellectual ability. - You learn better when you wrestle with new problems before being shown the solution, rather than the other way around. — To achieve excellence in any sphere, you must strive to surpass your current level of ability. - Striving, by its nature, often results in setbacks, and setbacks are often what provide the essential information needed to adjust strategies to achieve mastery.”