Eight Books on the Science of Successful Learning

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Here is an excerpt from 250words.com on eight books on the science of successful learning and then reviews on successful learning books such as Make it StickThe Talent Code, The Brain That Changes Itself, The Power of HabitMindset and more.

In the middle of Make it Stick: The Science of Successful LearningI cheated. I skipped to the reading suggestions at the end of the book. The authors list 19 books, and I cherry-picked picked eight. I recommend each one, as well as Make it Stick, which I can’t wait to finish.

Make It Stick – Description

Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown

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To most of us, learning something “the hard way” implies wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies that make learning easier. Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning turns fashionable ideas like these on their head. Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners.

Memory plays a central role in our ability to carry out complex cognitive tasks, such as applying knowledge to problems never before encountered and drawing inferences from facts already known. New insights into how memory is encoded, consolidated, and later retrieved have led to a better understanding of how we learn. Grappling with the impediments that make learning challenging leads both to more complex mastery and better retention of what was learned.

Many common study habits and practice routines turn out to be counterproductive. Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and single-minded repetition of new skills create the illusion of mastery, but gains fade quickly. More complex and durable learning come from self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting to re-study new material until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the practice of one skill or topic with another. Speaking most urgently to students, teachers, trainers, and athletes, Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning will appeal to all those interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and self-improvement.

Science of successful learning books #1 The Talent Code

The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. by Daniel Coyle

What is the secret of talent? How do we unlock it? In this groundbreaking work, journalist and New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle provides parents, teachers, coaches, businesspeople—and everyone else—with tools they can use to maximize potential in themselves and others.

Whether you’re coaching soccer or teaching a child to play the piano, writing a novel or trying to improve your golf swing, this revolutionary book shows you how to grow talent by tapping into a newly discovered brain mechanism.

Drawing on cutting-edge neurology and firsthand research gathered on journeys to nine of the world’s talent hotbeds—from the baseball fields of the Caribbean to a classical-music academy in upstate New York—Coyle identifies the three key elements that will allow you to develop your gifts and optimize your performance in sports, art, music, math, or just about anything.

Science of successful learning books #2 The Brain That Changes Itself

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge M.D.

An astonishing new science called “neuroplasticity” is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. In this revolutionary look at the brain, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., provides an introduction to both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they’ve transformed. From stroke patients learning to speak again to the remarkable case of a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, The Brain That Changes Itself will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.

Science of successful learning books #3 The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

Science of successful learning books #4 Mindset

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea–the power of our mindset.

Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.

Science of successful learning books #5 Moonwalking With Einstein

Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

The blockbuster phenomenon that charts an amazing journey of the mind while revolutionizing our concept of memory

An instant bestseller that is poised to become a classic, Moonwalking With Einstein recounts Joshua Foer’s yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top “mental athletes.” He draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of remembering, and venerable tricks of the mentalist’s trade to transform our understanding of human memory. From the United States Memory Championship to deep within the author’s own mind, this is an electrifying work of journalism that reminds us that, in every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories.

Science of successful learning books #6 Intelligence and How to Get It

Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count by Richard Nisbett

“[Nisbett] weighs in forcefully and articulately . . . [using] a thoroughly appealing style to engage . . . throughout.”—Publishers Weekly

Who are smarter, Asians or Westerners? Are there genetic explanations for group differences in test scores? From the damning research of The Bell Curve to the more recent controversy surrounding geneticist James Watson’s statements, one factor has been consistently left out of the equation: culture. In the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man, world-class social psychologist Richard E. Nisbett takes on the idea of intelligence as biologically determined and impervious to culture with vast implications for the role of education as it relates to social and economic development. Intelligence and How to Get It asserts that intellect is not primarily genetic but is principally determined by societal influences.

Science of successful learning books #7 How Children Succeed

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

“Drop the flashcards—grit, character, and curiosity matter even more than cognitive skills. A persuasive wake-up call.”—People

Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter more have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control.

How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators, who, for the first time, are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories—and the stories of the children they are trying to help—Tough reveals how this new knowledge can transform young people’s lives. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do—and do not—prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides us with new insights into how to improve the lives of children growing up in poverty. This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage readers, it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.

Science of successful learning books #8 When Can You Trust the Experts

When Can You Trust the Experts: How to Tell Good Science from Bad in Education by Daniel T. Willingham

Clear, easy principles to spot what’s nonsense and what’s reliable

Each year, teachers, administrators, and parents face a barrage of new education software, games, workbooks, and professional development programs purporting to be “based on the latest research.” While some of these products are rooted in solid science, the research behind many others is grossly exaggerated. This new book, written by a top thought leader, helps everyday teachers, administrators, and family members—who don’t have years of statistics courses under their belts—separate the wheat from the chaff and determine which new educational approaches are scientifically supported and worth adopting.

  • Author’s first book, Why Don’t Students Like School?, catapulted him to superstar status in the field of education
  • Willingham’s work has been hailed as “brilliant analysis” by The Wall Street Journal and “a triumph” by The Washington Post
  • Author blogs for The Washington Post and Brittanica.com, and writes a column for American Educator

In this insightful book, thought leader and bestselling author Dan Willingham offers an easy, reliable way to discern which programs are scientifically supported and which are the equivalent of “educational snake oil.”