Resources and References



Quiz questions. Regarding the first quiz question, a growing body of research shows that learners are made, not born. People can get better at learning. For a recent example, see this 2018 study, which shows that students who learn about self-testing and spacing do better in school. For another example, see the work of John Dunlosky and his colleagues. They show pretty clearly that some learning strategies work better than others.

Learning strategies can also be more important than raw smarts when it comes to gaining expertise. In this study, Marcel Veenman found that people who closely track their thinking will outscore people who have sky-high IQ levels on academic tasks.

Regarding the second quiz question, a number of studies show that what matters in learning is not only the facts but how the facts come together. As one landmark study showed, the students who understood the relationship between light and water were better able to throw darts at the target in a different setting. In other words, they could use their learning in a new context. Because their knowledge was part of a system, their knowledge was more flexible--and they gained a lot more. There's a great summary of the darts study here.

Regarding quiz question three, the idea of right-brained learners doesn't have much evidence to it. The OECD has a nice debunking of the myth.

Learning myths. I worked with NPR some year back to create a learning myths quiz. You can take it here. Fast Company also had a nice piece on learning myths based in part on our work.

Bibliography. Much of this course is based on my book, Learn Better, and the readings are largely excerpted from that material. The books, reports, studies and other documents below served as useful general guides and resources. When applicable, I also cite these books in the references section of the specific module.

Ambrose, Susan A., Bridges, Michael W., DiPietro, Michele, Lovett, Marsha C., and Marie K. Norman. How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Kindle Edition.

Askell-Williams, Helen, Lawson, Michael J., and Grace Skrzypiec. “Scaffolding cognitive and metacognitive strategy instruction in regular class lessons.” Instructional Science 40(2) (2012): 413-443, doi:10.1007/s11251-011-9182-5.

Benassi, Victor A., Overson, Catherine E., and Christopher M. Hakala. Applying Science of Learning in Education: Infusing Psychological Science into the Curriculum. Durham, NH: University of New Hampshire, 2014.

Bourne, Lyle E. and Alice F. Healy. Training Cognition: Optimizing Efficiency, Durability, and Generalizability. Hove, UK: Psychology Press, 2012.

Brown, Peter C., Roediger III, Henry L., and Mark A. McDaniel. Make It Stick. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014. Kindle Edition.

Carey, Benedict. How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens. New York: Random House, 2014.

Christodoulou, Daisy. Seven Myths About Education. London: Routledge, 2014.

Clark, Ruth C. Building Expertise: Cognitive Methods for Training and Performance Improvement. Hoboken, NJ: Pfieffer, 2008.

Claxton, Guy. Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: How Intelligence Increases When You Think Less. 1st Ecco ed edition. Hopewell, N.J: Ecco, 1999.

Clark, Ruth C., and Richard E. Mayer. E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning. 2 edition. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer, 2007.

Dunlosky, John, and Janet Metcalf. Metacognition. New York: SAGE Publications, 2008.

Elder, Linda, and Richard Paul. The Thinker’s Guide for Students on How to Study and Learn a Discipline: Using Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools. Tomales, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2002.

Ericsson, Anders K., and Robert Poole. Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.

Richard E. Mayer and Fiorella, Logan. Learning as a Generative Activity: Eight Learning Strategies that Promote Understanding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Healy, Alice F., and Lyle E. Bourne Jr, eds. Training Cognition: Optimizing Efficiency, Durability, and Generalizability. 1 edition. New York, NY: Psychology Press, 2012.

Lyle E. Bourne and Alice F. Healy. Train Your Mind for Peak Performance: A Science-Based Approach for Achieving Your Goals. Washington, D.C: American Psychological Association, 2013.

Hattie, John. Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. London: Routledge, 2008.

How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School. ed. John D. Bransford, Ann L. Brown, and Rodney R. Cocking. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2000.

“Improving student learning in low-maintenance and cost-effective ways.” edited by Shana K. Carpenter. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. 3 (2014): 121-123.

Hoffman, Robert R.; Ward, Paul; Feltovich, Paul J.; DiBello, Lia; Fiore, Stephen M.; Andrews, Dee H. (2013-08-15). Accelerated Expertise: Training for High Proficiency in a Complex World (Expertise: Research and Applications Series). Taylor and Francis.

Integrating Cognitive Science with Innovative Teaching in STEM Disciplines. ed. Mark A McDaniel, Regina F. Frey, Susan M. Fitzpatrick, and Henry L. Roediger III. St. Louis: Washington University Libraries, 2014.

Jairam Dharma, and Keith Kierwa. “An Investigation of the SOAR Study Method. Journal of Advanced Academics 20(4) (2009): 602-629.

Koedinger, Kenneth R., Booth, Julie L., and David Klahr. “Instructional Complexity and the Science to Constrain It.” Science. 342 (2013): 935-937, doi: 1

Levy, Frank, and Richard J. Murnane. Teaching the New Basic Skills: Principles for Educating Children to Thrive in a Changing Economy. New York: Free Press, 1996.

Levy, Frank, and Richard J. Murnane. The New Division of Labor: How Computers are Creating the Next Job Market. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.

Lemov, Doug, and Norman Atkins. Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College. 1 edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010.

Marzano, Robert J., The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction (Professional Development). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2007. Kindle Edition.

Marzano, Robert J., Debra Pickering, and Jane E. Pollock. Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. ASCD, 2001.

McDaniel, Mark, and Cynthia Wooldridge. “The Science of Learning and Its Applications,” in Effective College and University Teaching: Strategies and Tactics for the New Professoriate. edited by William Buskist and Victor A. Benassi, 49-60. New York: SAGE Publications, 2012.

Nisbett, Richard E. Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015. Kindle Edition

Nisbett, Richard E. Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count. First Paperback Edit edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010.

Nilson, Linda, and Barry J. Zimmerman. Creating Self-Regulated Learners: Strategies to Strengthen Students’ Self-Awareness and Learning Skills. Stylus Publishing: Stylus Publishing, 2013.

Oakley, Barbara. A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra). New York: TarcherPerigree, 2014.

Pashler, H., Bain, P., Bottge, B., Graesser, A., Koedinger, K., McDaniel, M., and Janet Metcalfe. Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning (NCER 2007-2004). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Research, 2007.

The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice. ed. Francisco Benavides, Hanna Dumont and David Instance. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2010.

The Science of Learning. Austin, TX: Deans for Impact, 2015.

Schwartz, Bennett L., Son, Lisa K., Kornell, Nate, and Bridget Finn. “Four Principles of Memory Improvement: A Guide to Improving Learning Efficiency.” International Journal of Creativity and Problem Solving. 21(1) (2011): 7-15.

Schwartz, Bennett L. Memory: Foundations and Applications. 2 edition. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc, 2013.

Stigler, James W., and James Hiebert. The Teaching Gap: Best Ideas from the World's Teachers for Improving Education in the Classroom. New York: Free Press, 1999.

Willingham, Daniel T. Why Don’t Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2010.

Willingham, Daniel T. Cognition: The Thinking Animal. 3rd edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2006.

Wiggins, Grant, Jan McTighe, and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 1998.

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