Can You Pass A Quiz on 'Learn Better’?

An excellent synthesis of the current learning science research for non-learning scientists.

December 18, 2017

Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything by Ulrich Boser

Published in May of 2017.

Quiz question #1:  Which of the following books covering the fundamentals of learning science should everyone who works in higher education read:

A.    Learn Better

B.    How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens

C.  Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning 

D.  Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

E. All of the above.

The answer is E. All of the above.

By having you actively engage with thinking about recent books about learning science, you are more likely to transfer your knowledge of which books on the subject to check out from short to long term memory.

An even better approach if you hope to retain an idea of what books are being written in this field is to take some action. Click on the links to the books.  Read the reviews.  If you plan to read one of these books, write down your commitment (say in the comments section).

The best approach that you can take if you want to retain the big lessons of learning science covered in all these books is to synthesize the points, and then try to apply them to your own work. You can also do this in the comments section if you have read any of these books.

Learn Better is a welcome addition to our applied learning science bookshelf. An excellent book on the research of learning science aimed at non-specialists.

Where Learn Better is particularly relevant to those of us working at the intersection of education and technology is what the book has to say about curiosity.  The research synthesized in the book indicates that curious people have advantages in learning new things.  We learn best what we are curious about, and we become more curious the more we learn.

One thing that I’m curious about is why the author, a graduate from the liberal arts college where I work, did not talk more about the learning science revolution that is sweeping higher education.

The past few years have witnessed a remarkable change - one that is seldom recognized outside of academia - in which learning science has moved from the margins to the center.

There is now a critical mass of people on many campuses - from education developers to instructional designers - who will be consumers, synthesizers and translators of Learn Better and the research on which the book was based. Discussions of learning science have moved from departments of Education and Centers for Teaching and Learning (CTLs) to the realm of institutional strategic conversations.

I’d invite Ulrich Boser to visit his alma mater, as there are lots of faculty and non-faculty learning science nerds who’d like to hang out with him and talk about teaching.

What learning science books would you recommend?

What are you reading?


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