Most of what we know about learning isn’t so, argues Benedict Carey in How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where, and Why It Happens.
Learning doesn’t have to be arduous, isolating or stressful, Carey tells MindShift.
Forgetting — and working to remember what’s important — is “a critical part of learning,” Carey says.
Nose-to-the-grindstone cram sessions aren’t very effective. Students learn more when they break up and space out study time over days and weeks.
It helps to vary the study environment and to take short breaks to go for a walk or “trawl on social media.”
Distractions and interruptions can allow for mental “incubation” and flashes of insight — but only if you’ve been working at a problem for a while and get stuck, according to a 2009 research meta-analysis.
When students quiz themselves on new material, they learn more than if they just re-read it.