Why Students Forget—and What You Can Do About It. Teachers have long known that rote memorization can lead to a superficial grasp of material that is quickly forgotten. But new research in the field of neuroscience is starting to shed light on the ways that brains are wired to forget—highlighting the importance of strategies to retain knowledge and make learning stick.
In a recent article published in the journal Neuron, neurobiologists Blake Richards and Paul Frankland challenge the predominant view of memory, which holds that forgetting is a process of loss—the gradual washing away of critical information despite our best efforts to retain it. According to Richards and Frankland, the goal of memory is not just to store information accurately but to “optimize decision-making” in chaotic, quickly changing environments. In this model of cognition, forgetting is an evolutionary strategy, a purposeful process that runs in the background of memory, evaluating and discarding information that doesn’t promote the survival of the species.
Future - An effortless way to improve your memory. When trying to memorise new material, it’s easy to assume that the more work you put in, the better you will perform. Yet taking the occasional down time – to do literally nothing – may be exactly what you need. Just dim the lights, sit back, and enjoy 10-15 minutes of quiet contemplation, and you’ll find that your memory of the facts you have just learnt is far better than if you had attempted to use that moment more productively. Although it’s already well known that we should pace our studies, new research suggests that we should aim for “minimal interference” during these breaks – deliberately avoiding any activity that could tamper with the delicate task of memory formation.
So no running errands, checking your emails, or surfing the web on your smartphone. You really need to give your brain the chance for a complete recharge with no distractions. When tested one-and-a-half-hours later, the two groups showed strikingly different patterns of recall. 35 Psychology-Based Learning Strategies For Deeper Learning. 35 Psychology-Based Critical Thinking Strategies by Sara Briggs, opencolleges.edu.au Have you ever considered letting your students listen to hardcore punk while they take their mid-term exam? Decided to do away with PowerPoint presentations during your lectures? Urged your students to memorize more in order to remember more? If the answer is no, you may want to rethink your notions of psychology and its place in the learning environment. In pursuit, here are 35 psychology-based critical thinking strategies for use in your classroom. 35 Psychology-Based Critical Thinking Strategies 1.
Definition: It is easiest to recall information when you are in a state similar to the one in which you initially learned the material. Application: Urge your students to sit in the same room they studied in when they complete their take-home quiz. 2. Application: Sometimes students need your help distinguishing between internal and external factors that affect academic performance. 3. 4. Application: F. 5. 6. 6 Strategies for Taking High-Quality Notes. The good news is that teachers can show their students how to take better notes.
Even better, good note-taking activities are themselves learning processes that can help students think metacognitively about their own studying, and can improve their retention of course material. A virtuous cycle! Six Powerful Note-Taking Strategies 1. Organize the blank page. Many studies have attempted to determine how students should engage with their notes after class. Here’s a great way to guide your students to do that: Have them draw a line down each sheet of paper they’ll use, making two columns. After class is over, students should use the blank column to create questions or summaries about the material and use the questions and summaries to quiz themselves on the lecture notes. Questions should be at higher levels on Bloom’s taxonomy. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. When Memorization Gets in the Way of Learning - The Atlantic. Memorization has enjoyed a surge of defenders recently.
They argue that memorization exercises the brain and even fuels deep insights. They say our haste to purge old-school skills-driven teaching from our schools has stranded a generation of students upriver without a paddle. They recommend new apps aiming to make drills fun instead of tedious. Most of all, they complain that rote learning has become taboo, rather than accepted as a healthy part of a balanced scholastic diet. Certainly, knowledge matters. A head full of facts--even memorized facts--is better than an empty one. But facts enter our heads through many paths--some well-paved, some treacherous. I define memorization as learning an isolated fact through deliberate effort. First, there's raw rehearsal: reciting a fact over and over. Raw rehearsal is the worst way to learn something. Second, there are mnemonics and other artificial tricks--songs, acronyms, silly rhymes.
Such tactics certainly work better than raw rehearsal. When Memorization Gets in the Way of Learning - The Atlantic. The Teenage Brain Is Wired to Learn—So Make Sure Your Students Know It. Adolescence is an exciting time as teenagers become increasingly independent, begin to look forward to their lives beyond high school, and undergo many physical, emotional, and cognitive changes. In that last category, teenagers can learn to take charge of their developing brains and steer their thinking in positive and productive directions toward future college and career success. The brain’s prefrontal cortex, which functions as the control center for executive functions such as planning, goal setting, decision making, and problem solving, undergoes significant changes during the teenage years. In an NPR interview, Laurence Steinberg, author of Age of Opportunity: Lessons From the New Science of Adolescence, notes that ages 12 to 25 are a period of extraordinary neuroplasticity.
They have the capacity to become functionally smarter. Tools for Self-Directed Learning Don’t just read—learn. Consider the source. Create, then edit. Make a schedule—and stick to it. Edutopia. With so many classroom research studies published daily, you can be forgiven for missing some. The techniques below are super-tactical and, for the most part, unsung strategies that you’ll be excited to try tomorrow. Just remember two things. First, there are always limitations and nuances in research, so we suggest you click the links and dig deeper into the studies.
Second, studies are just words without you—your application and adaptations give them power. Research on Engaging Students 1. Greeting students by name and including a positive statement at the beginning of class increased engagement by 27 percent. 2. 3. Studying Tips to Give Students Tomorrow 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Instruction They’ll Remember 12. 13. 14. 15. Improving Academic Achievement Scores 16. 17. How to Minimize Teacher Stress 18. 19. Don’t Contribute to Needless Cognitive Strain 20. 21. 22. 23. Research on Writing Instruction 24. 25. 26. 30 Universal Strategies For Learning. 30 Universal Strategies For Learning by Terry Heick As teachers, we’re all trying to better understand how people learn–not now they’re taught in terms of teaching strategies, but more so learning strategies–only not really strategies.
Learning actions, or cognitive actions. Strategies for learning. Self-directed and social learning will undoubtedly be at the core of any sort of future learning–both near and far future. But to improve learning in both self-directed and teacher-centered learning environments, it can be illuminating to look past the activities, projects, and courses to try to see what sort of brain-level actions learners are performing. Bloom’s taxonomy–especially the annotated “Bloom’s Wheel”–helpfully offers power verbs that drive the planning of learning activities, but I wanted to be even more specific.
In the TeachThought Learning Taxonomy, we approached this idea, and did so again with How To Add Rigor To Anything. Using “Universal Strategies” An example? Smart Homework: Can We Get Real? Here’s the first of a several-part series on smart homework practices, adapted from Rick Wormeli’s seminal book about teaching in the middle grades, Day One & Beyond: Practical Matters for New Middle Level Teachers. What’s most remarkable about Wormeli’s discussion? How relevant and comtemporary it feels, a decade after he wrote it! The homework controversy continues, and Rick continues to offer great advice on this topic in workshops and presentations across North America.
We’ve included some additional references for you at the article’s conclusion. by Rick Wormeli It’s ten minutes before the end of a hot and humid Wednesday in your classroom, and both you and your students already have more than enough personal and school-related commitments to fill the time between the end of school and bedtime that night. “Okay, listen up. If you had X-ray eyes, you could see every heart sink. Opinions run strong It doesn’t have to be this way.
Why do we have homework? What a tough situation! Effective teaching of Study Skills. 5 Practical Learning Tips Based On How People Do--And Don't--Learn. 5 Practical Learning Tips Based On How People Do–And Don’t–Learn by Charlie Chung, Class Central There has been a large body of work in neuroscience, psychology, and related fields offering more and more insight into how we learn.
Below are five of the top tips from Barbara Oakley, Professor of Engineering at Oakland University, who has faced her own learning challenges (failing middle and high school math and science classes), and has made a study of the latest research on learning. She is also offering a free online course, Learning How to Learn, which starts August 1 on the Coursera platform with co-instructor, Prof. 5 Practical Learning Tips Based On Neuroscience 1. The advice to get enough sleep before an exam or important performance is age-old, but it is not often accompanied by a strong rationale of why this is important. Of course this will be tough to balance if students are completely unprepared the night before and have to judge when to stop and call it a night. 2. 3. 4. 5. Why Homework Matters. As an elementary/middle school teacher, I hear constant complaints about the issue of homework. There are valid points against overdoing it and even studies that suggest, in some cases, it doesn’t always help.
There’s a big difference between busy work and assignments that are meaningful. Some researchers, like Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish, propose that homework is a hidden cause of childhood obesity. Others, like Alfie Kohn, believe that the quality and quantity of assignments done at home should be addressed, pronto. Homework: Good or Bad? Although some teachers assign busy work, that is not always the case.
Homework is Likely Sticking Around Although there is an ongoing debate about the merits and necessity of homework, the bottom line is that it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. Studies at Duke University under Harris Cooper found a positive connection between test scores and homework. Life in the working world is more competitive than ever before. Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Student. Good study tips and habits can make a tremendous difference in understanding academic subject matter, and improving test scores.
Some students inherently understand these concepts, while others take a bit more time to adapt to these practices. Many successful students create their own personal methods to absorbing classroom material by tweaking already established methods of learning. Regardless of the different types of students there may be, understanding how to absorb and articulate subject matter is a necessity for all people involved in the learning process; in and outside of the classroom. Participating in Class Student Participation: Learning About Active Learning: This article outlines the importance of participating in class in order to absorb and learn the information being presented. Studying Where To Study/How To Study: Provides basic tips on the types of settings appropriate to studying and tips on how to concentrate and memorize subject matter. Improving Reading Skills.
Study Vibe - How to study - study skills for primary and high school students. Study Skills. Becoming a successful student is not a matter of chance or even academic ability. In order to be a successful student and minimise the stress associated with study you need to be organised and know how to study. The following information is a guide offering suggestions on becoming organised, and ways in which you can make more effective use of your study time. For those of you who are new to study, returning to study after a break, or students who have experienced difficulties associated with study, it is certainly worthwhile checking out this information. However, even if you are a successful student there may be a few hints here that will prove helpful.
Information is available for: Motivation and Goal Setting (508 KB) Time Management (1.44 MB) Preparing for Exams (904.5 KB) Managing Stress (942 KB) Working in a Group (1.34 MB) Student counsellor, Roslyn McCarthy and Student Mentor, Scott Young provide valuable tips for your exam preparation. Preparing for Exams Notes. Tips for Effective Study. The most common barrier to success encountered by college students is a lack of effective techniques for study and exam preparation.
If you are one of the vast majority of students whose answer to the question, "How do you study for your tests? " is, "I go over my notes," then you need to take a serious look at your study skills. Here are some suggestions to increase your effectiveness as a student. Day to Day Take good notes. Always take the notes for a particular class in the same notebook. Date each entry into your notebook.
It is usually best to keep the notes for different classes separate from each other. Your notes should contain as complete a record of what the instructor said as possible. Anything the instructor writes on the board should appear in your notes. If possible, try to take your notes in some kind of outline form. You might find it useful to have a second color of pen or pencil available for highlighting important ideas or indicating vocabulary. Keep up on your reading. The Science: The Growth Mindset - Mindset Works®: Student Motivation through a Growth Mindset, by Carol Dweck, Ph.D. Why the Growth Mindset? When students and educators have a growth mindset, they understand that intelligence can be developed.
Students focus on improvement instead of worrying about how smart they are. They work hard to learn more and get smarter. Based on years of research by Stanford University’s Dr. Dweck, Lisa Blackwell Ph.D., and their colleagues, we know that students who learn this mindset show greater motivation in school, better grades, and higher test scores. What does a Growth Mindset School look like? Administrators support teachers’ learning. Teachers collaborate with their colleagues and instructional leaders, rather than shut their classroom doors and fly solo. Parents support their children’s learning both inside and outside the classroom. Students are enthusiastic, hard-working, persistent learners. What is the impact of Mindset? Mindsets Predict Motivation and Achievement Growth Mindset Training Boosts Motivation and Achievement.
5 Study Skills to Accelerate Your Learning | Head Smart | Global Cognition.